At Cooloola by Judith Wright

What concept of Belonging is explored here?
The concept of Belonging explored here is: a competing sense of belonging; the poet’s family has been on the land for a few generations compared to the Aboriginals who have been here for 40 000 years. The subject matter is the spiritual connection to the landscape and the theme is whether this sense of belonging is a cultural or personal one.

How does the poet use language to convince the readers of his vision?
The poet initiates the poem with the use of imagery- “The blue crane fishing in Cooloola’s twilight” –which implies the crane’s species is connected to the water through their shared colour. The poet begins in this way to establish the subject matter which is the spiritual connection to the landscape. This idea is further emphasized in the line- “Has fished there longer than our centuries”- which states nature’s connection to the land. This is quite interesting as the poet here establishes a third perspective; that nature has been here long before humanity. The second stanza begins with: “But I’m a stranger, come of a conquering people” – and actually introduces the subject. The word “stranger” signifies alienation despite personal sense of belonging. The poet reminiscences- “Being unloved by all my eyes delight in, And made uneasy for an old murder’s sake”- is an example of irony; the poet loves and is connected to the landscape, however the landscape does not love her for what her people have done. The words “conquering” and “murder’s” allude to the atrocities the early white settlement committed to the Aboriginals and the land. The whites subjugated the Aboriginals by force and “murder” the land with extensive unsustainable land practices such as forest clearing and farming. How the land love a person with such a bloody lineage? The third stanza begins with the line: “Those dark-skinned people who once named Cooloola”- this is the first reference to the Aboriginals and here...