Ballad of the Totems by Oodgeroo Noonuccal
Oodgeroo Noonuccal Achievements
Oodgeroo Noonuccal was a prolific poet who came with breathtaking pieces of poetry. She used poetry to express her feelings and thoughts. Oodgeroo Noonuccal 's impact on society was great as she went as far as using personal encounters and experiences to reach out to her audience and connect with them at a higher level. Once she established this connection, she would use well-crafted words to come up with beautiful poems that would get them to see the world through her eyes. The Ballad of the Totems is one of Oodgeroo Noonuccal’s most famous works from the book, My People: a Kath Walker collection.
The poem is written from the first person point of view. The persona of the poem is in a dilemma as she comes from a family that is struggling to choose between traditional and modern life. In the eight stanzas, the poet tells us of the family dilemma whereby the father is a traditionalist and still believes in spiritual culture whereas the family wants to live the modern life (Aussey, Farmstay).
Oodgeroo Noonuccal uses the spirituality of natives to expound on the central theme: conflict. The tone of the poet is that of a conflicted person who is not sure about the kind of life she wants to follow. Oodgeroo Noonuccal's work also has a humorous touch to it, especially how the persona describes her dad. Stylistic devices are used such as rhyme and rhythm. At the end of each sentence are rhyming words and the choice of vocabulary that the poem is easy to understand and follow (Watson, Sam).
Although the meaning of some words in Oodgeroo Noonuccal writing was vaguely unclear, it does not affect the understanding of the poem. Symbolism is used where the mother uses the word robber to refer to the snake for eating her chickens. The form of the poem is definite and the structure uniform, for lines per stanza with rhyme observed throughout the poem.
At the end, the poet leaves us with suspense because she does not reveal which side wins. After the father passed on, the snake left but it is unclear whether it is because it was attached to the father or because the mother hated it and chased it away.
Aussey, Farmstay. "Ballad Of The Totems - Oodgeroo Noonuccal - Poem - Australian Poetry Library". Poetrylibrary.Edu.Au, 2017, http://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poets/noonuccal-oodgeroo/ballad-of-the-totems-0771021.
Watson, Sam. "Kath Walker/Oodgeroo Noonuccal". Queensland Review, vol 14, no. 01, 2007, p. 43. Cambridge University Press (CUP), doi:10.1017/s1321816600005924.
If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the ProEssays website, please click below to request its removal:
- The Ovidian Tale Hermaphroditus and the Novel Mygale
- A Litareary Essay: Description of Ordinary Things
- Darkness Visible by Styron - Book Review Example
- Report Example on Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness
- Harlem Renaissance Poetry Themes - A Literary Essay Sample
- Essay on Why Odysseus Described as One Who Veered From His Path
- Literary Essay Example on Faulkner's A Rose for Emily