'Knocked Up' by Henry Lawson
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I'm lyin' on the barren ground that's baked and cracked with drought,
And dunno if my legs or back or heart is most wore out;
I've got no spirits left to rise and smooth me achin' brow --
I'm too knocked up to light a fire and bile the billy now.
Oh it's trampin', trampin', tra-a-mpin', in flies an' dust an' heat,
Or it's trampin' trampin' tra-a-a-mpin'
through mud and slush 'n sleet;
It's tramp an' tramp for tucker -- one everlastin' strife,
An' wearin' out yer boots an' heart in the wastin' of yer life.
They whine o' lost an' wasted lives in idleness and crime --
I've wasted mine for twenty years, and grafted all the time
And never drunk the stuff I earned, nor gambled when I shore --
But somehow when yer on the track yer life seems wasted more.
A long dry stretch of thirty miles I've tramped this broilin' day,
All for the off-chance of a job a hundred miles away;
There's twenty hungry beggars wild for any job this year,
An' fifty might be at the shed while I am lyin' here.
The sinews in my legs seem drawn, red-hot -- 'n that's the truth;
I seem to weigh a ton, and ache like one tremendous tooth;
I'm stung between my shoulder-blades -- my blessed back seems broke;
I'm too knocked out to eat a bite -- I'm too knocked up to smoke.
The blessed rain is comin' too -- there's oceans in the sky,
An' I suppose I must get up and rig the blessed fly;
The heat is bad, the water's bad, the flies a crimson curse,
The grub is bad, mosquitoes damned -- but rheumatism's worse.
I wonder why poor blokes like me will stick so fast ter breath,
Though Shakespeare says it is the fear of somethin' after death;
But though Eternity be cursed with God's almighty curse --
What ever that same somethin' is I swear it can't be worse.
For it's trampin', trampin', tra-a-mpin' thro' hell across the plain,
And it's trampin' trampin' tra-a-mpin' thro' slush 'n mud 'n rain --
A livin' worse than any dog -- without a home 'n wife,
A-wearin' out yer heart 'n soul in the wastin' of yer life.
Editor 1 Interpretation
An Exciting Interpretation of Henry Lawson's "Knocked Up"
Henry Lawson's "Knocked Up" is a poem that captures the essence of Australian society in the late 19th century. The poem revolves around a woman who is "knocked up" and left to fend for herself in a society that is cruel and unforgiving. Written in a simple language, the poem is an excellent example of Lawson's skill in portraying the lives of ordinary Australians.
The characters in the poem
The central character in the poem is the woman who is "knocked up." She is portrayed as a victim of a patriarchal society, where women are often left to suffer the consequences of their actions. The woman is described as "poor" and "wretched," highlighting her poverty and the harshness of her life.
But despite her plight, the woman is also portrayed as a fighter. She is determined to survive and raise her child, even in the face of adversity. This resilience is evident in lines like "She might have died in the gutter / But she didn't, don't you know."
The other characters in the poem are the "gentleman" who impregnated the woman and left her, and the "slangy rouseabouts" who taunt the woman as she walks past them. These characters represent the harshness of Australian society and its callous disregard for the vulnerable.
The themes of the poem
One of the most prominent themes in the poem is the harshness of Australian society. Lawson portrays a society that is unforgiving and cruel, especially to those who are vulnerable. The woman in the poem is a victim of this society, forced to suffer the consequences of her actions alone.
Another theme in the poem is gender inequality. The woman is a victim of a patriarchal society that places the burden of responsibility solely on women. The gentleman who impregnated her is not held accountable for his actions, while the woman is left to suffer the consequences alone.
But despite the bleakness of the themes, the poem also highlights the resilience of the human spirit. The woman in the poem is determined to survive and raise her child, even in the face of overwhelming odds. This resilience is a testament to the human capacity to endure even in the harshest of environments.
The structure of the poem
"Knocked Up" is a poem that is structured in a simple and straightforward manner. The poem consists of four stanzas, each with four lines. The poem has a simple rhyme scheme, with the second and fourth lines of each stanza rhyming.
The simplicity of the structure is a reflection of the simplicity of the language used in the poem. Lawson uses simple language to portray the lives of ordinary Australians. The structure of the poem complements the simplicity of the language, making the poem accessible to a wide range of readers.
The language of the poem
Lawson's use of language in "Knocked Up" is one of the poem's strengths. The language is simple and direct, which adds to the poem's impact. The language used in the poem is colloquial and informal, which reflects the language used by ordinary Australians in the late 19th century.
The use of slang in the poem is also noteworthy. The "slangy rouseabouts" who taunt the woman use language that is distinctly Australian. The use of slang adds authenticity to the poem, making it an accurate portrayal of Australian society in the late 19th century.
"Knocked Up" is a powerful poem that captures the harshness of Australian society in the late 19th century. The poem portrays a society that is cruel and unforgiving, especially to those who are vulnerable. But despite the bleakness of the themes, the poem also highlights the resilience of the human spirit. The woman in the poem is determined to survive and raise her child, even in the face of overwhelming odds.
The language used in the poem is simple and direct, which adds to the poem's impact. The use of slang also adds authenticity to the poem, making it an accurate portrayal of Australian society in the late 19th century.
Overall, "Knocked Up" is a poem that deserves to be celebrated for its portrayal of ordinary Australians and their struggles. It is a testament to Lawson's skill as a poet and his ability to capture the essence of Australian society in his works.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Poetry Knocked Up: A Masterpiece by Henry Lawson
Henry Lawson, one of the most celebrated Australian poets, has left an indelible mark on the literary world with his exceptional works. Among his many masterpieces, Poetry Knocked Up stands out as a remarkable piece of art that captures the essence of the Australian bush and the struggles of its people. Written in 1892, this poem is a testament to Lawson's ability to convey complex emotions and ideas through simple yet powerful language. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of Poetry Knocked Up and explore its themes, structure, and literary devices.
The poem opens with a vivid description of the Australian bush, with its "gum-trees tall and blue" and "the scrubby undergrowth." The imagery is so vivid that one can almost smell the eucalyptus and feel the dry heat of the sun. The bush is not just a physical landscape but a metaphor for the harsh realities of life in the outback. It is a place where people struggle to survive, where the land is unforgiving, and the future is uncertain.
The protagonist of the poem is a young man who dreams of becoming a poet. He is full of passion and enthusiasm, but he is also aware of the challenges that lie ahead. He knows that poetry is not a lucrative profession and that he may have to struggle to make ends meet. However, he is determined to pursue his dream, and he sets out to write his first poem.
The poem is a reflection of the young man's thoughts and feelings as he struggles to give birth to his creation. He is filled with self-doubt and anxiety, wondering if his poem will be good enough. He is also aware of the expectations of his audience, who may not appreciate his work. However, he perseveres, driven by his passion for poetry.
The structure of the poem is simple yet effective. It consists of four stanzas, each with four lines. The rhyme scheme is ABAB, which gives the poem a musical quality. The use of repetition, particularly in the first and last lines of each stanza, creates a sense of rhythm and reinforces the central theme of the poem.
One of the most striking features of Poetry Knocked Up is its use of literary devices. Lawson employs a range of techniques to convey his message, including metaphor, personification, and alliteration. For example, in the second stanza, he personifies the bush, describing it as "a mother in her pain." This metaphorical language creates a sense of empathy for the protagonist, who is struggling to give birth to his poem.
Another example of literary devices is the use of alliteration in the third stanza. The repetition of the "s" sound in "sweat and strain" and "struggle and strife" creates a sense of tension and emphasizes the difficulty of the creative process. The use of onomatopoeia in the final line of the poem, with the words "knocked up," adds a sense of finality and closure to the piece.
The central theme of Poetry Knocked Up is the struggle of the artist to create something meaningful in a world that may not appreciate their work. The poem is a reflection of Lawson's own experiences as a struggling writer, trying to make a living from his art. It is a testament to the power of passion and perseverance, and the importance of following one's dreams.
In conclusion, Poetry Knocked Up is a masterpiece of Australian literature that captures the essence of the bush and the struggles of its people. It is a powerful reflection on the creative process and the challenges faced by artists in pursuing their dreams. Through its vivid imagery, simple yet effective structure, and use of literary devices, the poem conveys a message that is as relevant today as it was over a century ago. Henry Lawson's legacy lives on through works like Poetry Knocked Up, inspiring generations of writers and readers alike.
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