Summative Entry – Thank you.

I would like to start out by saying, I love literature. I always have, even back in Vietnam. However, the method of teaching there did not suit me, as I lost my own voice and was unable to express my interpretation the way I wanted to. Here, in Australian Literature unit, not only did I get to open myself to new and different authors and literature works, I found my voice again. I found my love for literature again.

Starting from my first blog, I was afraid about how I would write it. Not because I did not know how to write, but rather how to make it fit with everybody else. That was what I was taught, to follow a single line if you want to get high marks. Nonetheless, following my own tuition was the best decision I made. The blog got overwhelming feedback and a lot of people enjoyed reading, because I was giving them a perspective they did not have. That’s when I realized, instead of hiding my difference, I should embrace it and share it with everyone. If I can summarize my blogs, it would be: different.

That was the theme for my next blogs, to try and express a different view on the matter. Of course, I could have followed the majority and made it easier for myself, but I wanted a challenge, and this weekly blog assignment was the perfect challenge.

Even though I have yet to know any of these authors prior to taking the course, it is amazing how much I found myself relating to a lot of their work. Especially Kim Scott’s “That Deadman Dance” and how all the characters in the story represented a different side of my own personality.

I believe that my perspective on these works is a perfect representation of me, a unique being not afraid of being different. This is just the start, as I still have long way to go. However, I am grateful to have been given such an opportunity to express myself. I am looking forward to the next semester and the challenges that come along with it.

Lastly, I would like to thank everyone who have viewed my blog and gave me such wonderful constructive criticism. I am better than I was before because of you.

Thank you.

Blog 8 – Green Inferno

Take the first line of any of the poems that we have looked at today and write your own poem based on the idea in the line you have chosen.

Inspired by Les Murray’s “The Cool Green”

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Money just a means to our ends?

Or a slippery slope leading to our end?

 

Working nine to five to stay alive

Or so we tell ourselves

Working everyday to survive

Are we really? Ask yourself.

 

Look at the stars, how lucky they are

Filling their hollow self with dollars

Friends or just materialistic leech? They’ll never know

The light inside, killed by man-made dark.

 

Asleep on the pavement, poor unfortunate souls

Having nothing but all the time in the world

Going nowhere except anywhere they want

Unbound by money, poor unfortunate souls.

Peer review 7

“Purpose”

This is an amazing poem. You picked up where Les Murray left off so perfectly. I am in love with your first two stanzas and how beautiful you depicted the animals. This is short and to the point. It isn’t unnecessarily long and you made it very clear the message you were trying to portray. I especially love the last sentence, “This curiosity and greed of consumption are what drives it after all.”, because it is so haunting yet so true. Great job overall!

Blog 7 – White Eyes

Create a topic of your own that links into the readings this week and that includes some reference to your own personal experience.

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I find myself in a situation quite similar to that of Patrick White. As someone who has only spent months in Australia, I can imagine his experience coming back after such a long time. His quirky writing style makes me think deeply about the tiniest of details and dig through all the layers to get to the real meaning of things.

My favorite work of White is “Miss Slattery and her Demon Lover” as it is a representation of the partying scene in Australia, which is something I see almost every night coming back from work. It is not at all my intention to be judgmental, but once I have seen people vomiting by the sidewalk, girls carrying high heels in their hands while walking barefoot & drunk, guys doing drugs & crying in corners of buildings, I start to think the story was an understatement. However, Miss Slattery & Tibby Szabo’s sleazy encounter is just a thin cover hiding the depth beneath, which is the intimate connection they both experienced afterwards. I also got to thinking what forced them to do all those things they did. Those people I saw, they are just as nice, horrible and ordinary as I am. How hard or excruciating must their life be for them to resort to alcohol and drugs to help them reach a level of euphoria easily mistaken for peace of mind? Of course, I would not want to involve those who enjoy going to clubs and drinking healthily and responsibly. I am only talking about those going to the extreme, hurting themselves to, ironically, take the pain the away. What is also interesting is even though this story takes place in 1961, it is still an appropriate representation of today’s society. It just goes to show how talented Patrick White is, as his works transcend time.

Patrick White’s work is his way of interpreting his surroundings, and I felt quite honored being able to see the world through his eyes.

Peer review 6

“Week 9, Post #7”

I love how you paid attention to the details and managed to find similarities between 3 quite different works. Your layout also made it easy for me to follow. There isn’t much for me to talk about because you hit the nail right on the head about Patrick White. Overall, this is a fascinating read. Keep up the great work.

Blog 6 – Blood Orange

Write a short creative or critical piece that is inspired by any of the works that we have looked at this week (in lectures & tutorials).

Inspired by John Shaw Neilson’s “The Orange Tree”

The 10-year-old me would be terrified of me now. He would not even recognize me. I can’t blame him. I’ve changed. We all do. Not just our appearance but also internally. My eyes have become sadder, seeing things in black and white. My mouth is scared, only saying things that are filtered, not from the heart. My mind is critical, looking at everything under a magnifying glass except myself. My dreams have changed, trying not drown in this river called life. “Who are you?”, he would ask.”You can’t be me. You and I are nothing alike. What happened?”. I wonder the same thing. “Life happened”, I would tell him.

“Do you remember the tree?”, he would ask. “We went there every day after school. Don’t tell me you forgot”. Luckily, I haven’t. “Of course I remember”, I would reply. Those were the days. Not a worry in the world. It was a huge tree near my childhood home. I would always run to it after school just to sit down in the shade and eat the orange my mom packed in the lunch box for me. I don’t know why it made me so calm but it did. There was nothing there but the tree, me and an orange. However to me, it was my own world. I would only leave until it got dark. Not that I was scared of the dark, but that’s when the frogs started to come. I hate frogs. Creepy slimy bastards.

“Don’t you like to go back?”

“I’d love to, but I can’t, buddy. The tree’s gone.”

“What?! No! What happened?”

“Look around”, I stand in the same spot where the tree used to be. “It’s been 8 years, dude. Of course it’s not gonna be around for that long.”

I feel guilty visiting home after 8 years. Everything has changed. I’m like a stranger here.

“Look again. It’s right in front of you.”fall-orange-tree-leaves-art-prints-autumn-nature-baslee-troutman-fine-art-photography

“What? This is a different tree.”

“It’s our tree. Look at the carving.”

Damn. I forgot about the carving. It’s what I did to tell the frogs the tree’s mine. They couldn’t have it. That is the same tree. I looked right at it yet I couldn’t recognise it at all. What happened to me? Why can I no longer see the things I used to see?

“You’re right buddy”, I sighed. “I can’t be you. I’ve turned into someone else.”

I looked at the tree one more time before going back to my parents’ house. I can’t call it home anymore. I don’t feel anything anymore. I stayed with them for a week before going back to the city.  That ‘s the only place I can recognise anything anymore.

Peer review 5

“Entry 3”

I find your understanding of the painting quite interesting. You paid attention to even the slightest of details & explained them so thoroughly. I also like the fact that at the end you expressed that the painting is open to interpretation & your blog is just one of many. I didn’t notice at first how the aboriginals were actually wearing “white people clothes”, stripped away of all the things that made them, well, them. I would like to add about that the little girl in the middle. To be stripped off of her heritage at such a young age, an age where she barely had any understanding about herself or where she came from, is such a devastating thing, in my opinion. I think Drysdale put her right in the middle with a purpose.
There’s not much that’s wrong with your entry & I find it a very interesting read.

https://saxonmarketo.wordpress.com/2016/04/09/entry-3/