”I love a sunburnt country” ….

This was going to be a post about sculptures at the National Arboretum in Canberra ….but I digress…..

As you drive up to the Arboretum there is a most imposing sculpture along the ridge of the hill.

The metal words in cursive, say..

wide brown land….

These three scripted words were taken from the diary of an Australian poet, Dorothea McKellar. Her poem is called My Country .

I didn’t know until  recently that Dorothea was only 22 years old when she wrote that poem. She was living in England and missing her home country.

I was 19 years old when I came to Australia (from Africa)

…and I was 22 when I came back from a holiday in England and realised that Australia was my home, a place I love.

Perhaps we need to leave to learn how we feel about our place in the world.

I have always loved Dorothea McKellar’s poem, and here are the words of one of the verses that lend themselves to some photos I have taken over the last few years……

My country

I love a sunburnt country

A Land of sweeping plains,

..of ragged mountain ranges

Of droughts…and flooding rains…

I love her far horizons..

I love her jewel sea

Her beauty and her terror..

The wide brown land for me..

I feel very lucky to have a place in the world….what is your favourite place?

Copyright Geraldine Mackey: All Rights Reserved









28 Replies to “”I love a sunburnt country” ….”

  1. A lovely poem, thank you for putting pictures to it. I think you are right, we don’t know our place in the world until we travel. Sometimes we discover ‘home’ is actually somewhere else for us (not where we were born.

    1. Yes, I agree the poem says so much in so few words, and I enjoyed matching photos with it. One of the many joys of blogging.

  2. What a fantastic poem, and how beautifully you illustrate it. Very moving. Australia is a paradise, I loved the year we had in Melbourne, it is such a vast country. I bet you have many a tale to tell about Africa. I could feel at home in Oz, especially the rainforests.xxx

    1. Thanks Dina, I think that far North Queensland is an amazing part of the world too.(thinking of rainforests). Nice that you spent a year in Melbourne, one of our daughters lives there. I’m sure you would love Kakadu National Park,(Northern Territory) if you haven’t been there?

    1. Yes, you are so right about children not knowing how to write, let alone cursive!! When I was first out teaching, we spend painstaking hours teaching children to write…all gone!

  3. A beautiful poem, very evocative. Illustrated beautifully as well. As for a favorite place, it’s hard to say, but if forced I would choose Chicago, I suppose.

    1. Thanks Jason (and lucky Judy in warmer California). I’m glad you have Chicago as your favourite place, without Chicagoans (Walter Burley Griffin & Marion Mahony) we would not have our lovely design for Canberra.

  4. What a stunning poem, especially from one so young. I’m not surprised that Dorothea missed her land whilst living in England, although when I go back to my home country, I marvel at all the green open spaces, considering how overcrowded the inhabited parts are now. I just have to love wherever I happen to be living, although I do get homesick for South Africa, as we lived there for over 40 years. I’m happy wherever I am, as long as I’m with my hubby. 🙂

    1. Yes, it is interesting when you have lived in a few different countries. I have lived in Australia for 40 years now, so I would find it hard to go elsewhere, but…. always up for a travelling adventure!

    1. Thanks Sylvia, the ocean photos would make you think of South Africa. Hard to beat lovely Umshlanga for beautiful beaches and the sea.

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