I fell in love with Kath Walker, as she was known then, in my teens and bought her book of poems, My people. I loved her passion for her people and the intensity but accessibility of her poems. Every now and then I look at them again. Today, however, my mum gave me a dear little illustrated book produced by the National Library of Australia called Little book of dogs. It contains a small selection of Australian poems on, well, dogs. One of them was also in My people, and is called “Freedom”. It’s a powerful little poem about man’s (and the implication is white man’s) desire to tame “all things wild and tameless”.
For copyright reasons I don’t believe I can quote the whole poem – it only has four verses – but here is the first verse:
Brumby on the wild plain
All men out to break you,
My warm fellow-feeling
Hopes they never take you!
Simple stuff really but, if you have a message you must get across to as many people as possible, simple is sometimes best.