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Issue Details: First known date: 2000... 2000 The Double Tree : Judith Wright's Poetry and Environmental Activism
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Author's abstract: The Australian poet Judith Wright (1915-2000) is an excellent example of the author-activist, someone whose careers, rather than running in parallel streams, have informed each other. Although early on it did not manifest itself in the political arena, her concern for the environment was there from near the beginning of her writing career. Her growing awareness of ecology and environmental degradation influenced her development as a poet; and her prominence as one of Australia's leading poets gave her a forum for agitating about the causes she was committed to. It is misleading to speak in terms of two careers, since for her they were inextricably connected. In her essays, Wright links the loss of feeling for nature with the decline of poetry as a genre, since she believes that one function of poetry is to awaken, even to educate, the emotions. Also, Wright used her status as a well-known poet to promote the social and environmental causes to which she was committed. From the mid-1950's onward, Wright's concerns as a poet seemed to shift somewhat, as though even in poems not overtly about environmental matters, the subject matter has been passed through a filter: what does it mean to live in a world dominated by a species seemingly bent on self-destruction? Her impact has resulted from her commitment to feeling, whether it be in human relationships, in treatment of the environment, in matters of social justice or in education.

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Last amended 31 Oct 2003 15:31:26
55-65 The Double Tree : Judith Wright's Poetry and Environmental Activismsmall AustLit logo ISLE : Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment