Judith Wright’s poem ‘Woman to Man’ is written by a woman to the father of her child as indicated by lines such as ‘This is our hunter and our chase, the third who lay in our embrace.’
Certainly the poem is resplendent with imagery that are subtly seem to relate to pregnancy and childbirth. In particular the poem expresses fears about the pregnancy and childbirth both with metaphor ‘build for its resurrection day-silent and swift and deep from sight foresees the unimagined light.’ And with obvious statements about the birth itself ‘blind head butting at the dark, the blaze of light along the blade. Oh hold me, for I am afraid.’
Fascinatingly, Wright and Noonuccal were friends, indeed it is Wright’s correspondence with Noonuccal that led Wright to become interested in Aboriginal Land Rights.
The poem makes extensive use of irony with lines such as ‘no more message-sticks; lubras and lads/ Got television now/Mostly ads.’
Critiques of capitalism are contained in the third stanza with lines such as ‘No more sharing/ what the hunter brings./ Now we work for money,/Then pay it back for things’. This stanza contrasts the simplicity of sharing hunted game, to the pointlessness of working, only to spend all the money to buy material possessions. Further stanzas negatively contrast the free gunya, to the years spent paying off a bungalow.
Art's Reviews. (2007, March 6). smh.com.au. Retrieved from Poet's letters reveal cost of following her heart: http://www.smh.com.au/news/arts/poets-letters-reveal-cost-of-following-her-heart/2007/03/05/1172943354621.html
Noonuccal, O. (1991). No More Boomerang. In K. Goodwin, & A. Lawson (Eds.), The Macmillan Anthology of Australian Literature (pp. 95-96). South Melbourne: Macmillan.
Scenic Rim Regional Council. (2014). Scenic Rim. Retrieved from Tamborine Mountain inspired Judith Wright: http://www.visitscenicrim.com.au/in-the-beginning/very-famous-locals/judith-wright/
Wright, J. (1949). Papers of Judith Wright, 1949-1951 [manuscript]. Retrieved from National Library of Australia Catalogue: http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/224330
Wright, J. (1994). Woman to Man. In Collected Poems (p. 27). Sydney: Angus & Robertson.