Eve Song and The Measure. Dame Mary Gilmore

Question: How does the last line in each of these poems by Dame Mary Gilmore capture her view of the human situation? What is it in her selection of words and images that gives Gilmore’s poetry its emotional intensity?

Eve Song

“A thread to bind the heart of Man” = Rules made to control perhaps Aboriginals, but earlier in the poem he comments “It wasn’t His heart but ours we bound”. So the rules that were made to control the aboriginal restricted the white man in his treatment of them.

The Measure

” The white beds empty, side by side”. This poem talks about the futility and the endlessness to war. It also talks of how war is the great equaliser. War unites two groups of people into one against a common enemy.

“And yet the equal sun looks down

On Kingly head and broken clown” .

The sun has no prejudice. It shines on the rich and poor alike. So with war, both black and whites lose lives.


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