The Traveller

Poetry can be defined as “interpreting ideas through imagination”. Through poetry, the power of emotion can be expressed in a way which creates a deeper level of understanding and meaning to the audience.  

C.J. Dennis’ poem The Traveller conveys the journey of an Australian man through the country towns of Victoria. His journey is one of development, as clearly portrayed in the text. The persona describes a vision of himself prior his journey in the last stanza as “foolish.” This is contrasted with the description of the persona by the man from Gundagai in stanza four, who claims that he is the most “wise” man he had ever encountered. Essentially, the poem illustrates the impact of experiences leading to a greater wisdom.

Furthermore, the poem is typically Australian, in that Australian idiom is expressed through the dialogue “Nay, I am yourself.” The dialogue is slang, suggesting an unrefined character that is stereotypically Australian. This is further strengthened by the listing of real country towns and its environmental conditions during the persona’s expedition. Imagery is evoked with the portrayal of the “old,” bumpy and vast hills. This description is reflective of the harsh Australian outback.

As previously mentioned, the above poem illustrates the impact of experiences leading to a greater wisdom. This is a recurring theme evident in Cathy Warry’s poem Woman of the future, which can be compared with my chosen text. The persona in Woman of the future reflects on her experiences throughout childhood, and notes that it is these experiences that will eventually shape her identity later in life.

The persona comes across as strong willed and highly motivated in life. Repetition of the phrase “I am” reinforces to the audience that the persona is as she describes, whether it be a child, a vision, a hearing, a memory or a thought. The simile of the caterpillar in the last stanza indicates that the persona is still premature despite her vast...