1 Introduction‎ > ‎

1.1 Abstract

This thesis is concerned with the centrality of landscape to the development of modern Australian poetry.

Landscape has long been acknowledged as one of the most influential themes in the development of post-colonial cultural identities in this country, and specifically in Australian literary traditions.

This thesis argues, however, that the most influential landscape poetry within those traditions has been concerned not just with landscape as an aesthetic concept, but with the politics of land ownership and/or appropriation, and the ongoing cultural or social implications of land ownership arrangements.

Further, this paper argues that the ways in which the land has been seen, including our changing understandings of concepts such as "ownership" and "belonging", and the political and economic structures and influences relating to the land, have directly and indirectly affected the poetry produced in this country since colonisation.

Specifically, in recent decades, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal poets have perceived and described the land in different ways, and these distinct visions can be traced to the relationship that each culture has with the land; the inter-relationships between the cultures; and the structural and psychological links between the poet and the landscape he or she is attempting to understand and describe.

Landscape poets, therefore, have given voice to some of the most compelling social currents in Australian society, and the work of several contemporary poets has had an important place in the political discourse of the final decades of the twentieth century.