Mid 19th Century Australian Poetry
Henry Kendall expresses human connection with nature within his poem “Bellbirds” referencing to times of the year, human ideas and actions such as “singing”, “running” and “mingled together”. These combined with ideas such as “September their songs” and “darling of daytime” show an up beat but relatable connection that Henry finds with nature. This is further instated when Henry alludes to the time of year and the seasons of nature, for example he states, “when fiery December steps foot in the forest” referring to Australia’s harsh summers in December. This connection between mans set times such as months of the year and natures reaction to each season allows for the reader to feel the same connections that Henry is feeling through reflection on and looking at nature. Although Henry still loves Australia and offers his nostalgic thoughts when thinking about Australia’s forests and wild life “looking back to a childhood, Mixt with the sights and sounds of the wildwood… The beauty and the strength of the deep Mountain Valleys”. Henry shows his appreciation of all parts of nature, whether it’s the “The beauty and the strength of the deep Mountain Valleys” or the “Mixt with the sights and the sounds of the wildwood, Longing for power and the sweetness to fashion”, ultimately not just caring about the beauty and power but the stillness and quiets of nature as well.
This compared to Charles Harpur’s ‘A Midsummer Noon in the Australian Forest’ where he recognises the beauty of all nature quite like how Henry does, however, Charles appreciates a specific part of nature more then the rest “tis the dragon Hornet!” he displays this by the way he brush’s over the other beauty’s of nature for example “Over hills and Over plains Quiet, vast and slumberous, reigns”. Compare this to his deep interest and description of the Dragon Hornet “Yellow on a tawny ground— Each rich spot nor square nor round, Rudely heart-shaped, as it were The blurred and hasty impress there 20 Of a vermeil-crusted seal”.
The differences between each artist expression of nature is about how each of them describes and connects with nature I feel. For Henry Kendall it was connecting with nature through human ideas and appreciating the natural beauty for what it is. While Charles Harpur appreciates nature but not holistically or to the extent Henry does, this is due to the fact Charles doesn’t offer the same descriptive or musical language Henry offers. Though he found admiration and mass appreciation for a section of nature being the Dragon hornet.