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  • Poem - The Sufer by Judith Wright The surfer He thrust his joy against the weight of the sea; climbed through, slid under those long banks of foam-- (hawthorn hedges in spring, thorns in the face stinging). How his brown strength drove through the

Poem — The Sufer by Judith Wright The surfer He thrust his joy against the weight of the sea; climbed through, slid under those long banks of foam— (hawthorn hedges in spring, thorns in the face stinging). How his brown strength drove through the Essay Example

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Name: Insert your name here

Title: The Surfer

Date: 4th May 2011

Essay: The surfer by Judith Wright

The writer of the poem Judith Arundell wright was born in Armidale, New south Wales in 1915. She was born into a wealthy pastoral family and was raised in the family sheep station. Her family was a wealthy pastoral family. She was educated under her grandmother supervision after her mother died in 1927 later on joining the New England Girls School when she was 14 this was after her father remarried. She took interest in poetry when in school and hence making her decision to become a poet. At school she also studied history, psychology and English but did not take a degree in these subjects.

When she was in her twenties she became progressively deaf. Wright travelled to Britain and Europe in 1937 to 1938 and then settled down and worked as a secretary stenographer and clerk until 1944. Then she became a university statistician at the University of Queensland, St. Lucia. When wright was 30 she met and married her lifelong partner the philosopher J. P McKinney who was 23 years her senior

Judith wright was a well published poet and short story writer who got over 50 books published in her life. She also was an environmentalist and social activities who campaigned for the rights for the aboriginal people to own land. Most of her works were written to protest against the political policies of the time. She left her home state in the mid-1970s and settled in the heritage town of Braidwood a remote property in the south of Canberra where she wrote many of her poems which concerned nature. She died at the age of 85 just after attending in Canberra at a march for reconciliation of the aborigine people.

She had received several awards in recognition to her work which included the Grace Leven prize (1950), Australia- Britannica award (1964), Robert Frost memorial Award (1977), Australian world prize (1984), Queen’s medal for poetry (1992). She also got several honorary degrees from several universities

The poem “The Surfer” is one of the poems about nature which Judith Wright wrote. In this poem the writer describe the joys felt by the surfer while at the same time wearily looking out at the dangers which the surfer who is of course enjoying himself too much is unaware. She wrote the poem in a capacity of an observer sitting maybe on some beach and looking out at a surfer she first describes him as she sees him.

He thrust his joy against the weight of the sea,

Climbed through, slid under those long banks of foam –

(Hawthorn hedges in spring, thorns in the face stinging).

How his brown strength drove through the hollow and coil

Of green-through weirs of water!

Muscle of arm thrust down long muscle of water.

And swimming so, went out of sight

Where mortal, masterful, frail, the gulls went wheeling

In air, as he in water, with delight.”

Then comes the parts where she assuming that she is sitting nearby sees things that the surfer is immensely unaware of due to him enjoying his sport so much like the fact that the sun is about to set and it would be dark soon and the surfer needs to start heading to the bank instead since the beach is wont with dangers. This is evident in her last stanza when she is warning the surfer as so:

For on the sand the grey-wolf sea lies snarling;

Cold twilight wind splits the waves’ hair and shows

The bones they worry in their wolf-teeth. O, the wind blows,

And sea crouches on sand, fawning and mouthing;

Drops there and snatches again, drops and again snatches

Its broken toys, its whitened pebbles and shells

The poem is a three structure stanza with free verse this is used to assist in capturing the changing moods of the poem. The poem style sometimes portrays unconventional words which are used to play and capture the reader’s vivid imaginations as to what it entails. First it starts with the relaxed joyous mood with which the writer shows how the surfer is enjoying himself and then turns sharply to the dangers which are lurking in the background for the surfer.

The purpose of the poem is to give both the positive and the negative of something which someone might be enjoying for instance an activity might be enjoyable to you since you are participating but if you changed position with an observer you might see the lurking danger. The pros and cons of an activity

The writer use of three key technique is evident here in a sense that the first stanza makes the reader lull into a sense of enjoyment where the reader only sees the joy on the surfer, the gracefulness the joy and the foams it projects a smooth profile then suddenly it changes with the dangers of the sea which catches the reader unaware since there was nothing in the previous lines that insinuated that the activity undertaken can have any dangerous consequence

In my view the message portrayed here is how Mother Nature can be both beautiful and cruel at the same time. How Mother Nature is supposed to be handled in utmost care since much of something is poisonous and limitation is the key to balance. In the poem the writer admires the surfing and the surfer and gives a vivid picture of how beautiful the sport is and then she worn of the dangers of over indulging since it seems like the surfer enjoyed himself to the extent of not noticing when the sun is going down and not really caring of the dangers that might beset him when he reaches the shore or the beach.

Work cited:

  1. Mia English dictionary, The surfer- Judith wright, retrieved on 4th May 2011from http://sthmsandgrenenglish.blogspot.com/2009/08/surfer-judith-wright.html

  2. The surfer- Judith Wright, retrieved on 4th May 2011 from http://au.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080905230659AA2Gh6r

  3. Poem hunter. Com, The surfer- Judith Wright retrieved on 4th May from http://www.poemhunter.com/judith-wright/biography/

  4. The surfer- Judith Wright poetry analysis retrieved on 4th of May from http://sthjcroweenglish.blogspot.com/2009/08/surfer-by-judith-wright-poetry-analysis.html

  5. Cassie English blog, poetic analysis of the Surfer by Judith Wright retrieved on 4th of May from http://sthcgrantenglish.blogspot.com/2009/08/poetic-analysis-of-surfer-by-judith.html