The Power of Journeys

Can a journey be seen as just a distance traveled? Or is there a greater meaning beyond each step that is taken? We are so caught up with the destination that we neglect to appreciate the process that gets us there, the excitement and exhilaration of an unpredictable journey and the things we learn from both the negatives and the positives that we are faced with. Journeys take us to many different places, but more important are the people we encounter along the way, and the experiences we possess. Journeys have the ultimate power to change our thinking, our ideas and concepts, inevitably changing us individually. We look into two selected poems by Robert Gray ‘Journey: The North Coast’ and ‘The Estates’, a recount written by Amanda Jones ‘One Night in the Sahara’ and lastly a ‘The Everyday Man’, a cartoon by Michael Leunig, to discover what each has to say, and the effect it has over us.

Journey: The North Coast is a poem based on going from an alienated world and returning back to the familiar, where the persona feels he belongs. The composer, Robert Gray, throws the audience straight into a vivid sense of immediacy, ‘Next thing’ implies that there has been a previous journey, one that us, as the audience hasn’t experienced with him. The strong verbs throughout the poem, ‘booms’, ‘cracks’, ‘swing’, all show the constant sense of the present.

As the persona takes the audience further into the story, we read about his views towards the train, that has become his home for quite some time, and the way he contrasts it with the natural beauty of outside the train. It mentions the sunlight rotating, giving a feel of warmth and being comfortable, but connects it to the ‘drab carpet’, as it the sunlight reflects it. Gray effectively uses visual imagery all throughout his poem to help us be involved in the journey. ‘It tears the wind apart’, conveys movement, speed and that the physical journey is going somewhere, the traveling, and the idea of a destination. Each...