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by Lisa Bellear
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Much of Lisa Bellear's poetry is politics made eloquent. In Aboriginal Country many poems seem to spark with frustrated energy over Australia's political crossed circuits regarding a treaty with our First Nations peoples - as promised by Prime Minister Hawke in 1988. Reading the title poem for the first time I was struck by its power. We are on Aboriginal Country in Australia. With subtle barbs she wakes us as to how the 'ownership' (via naming 'rights') of Australian public lands and monuments lauds absent white English royalty and 'intrepid god fearing discoverers'. Yet in her closing lines the poet transforms this potential for bitterness into a moment of hushed respect for country.
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