31 Jul, 2018

Poetry & Literature

The Bush Poets – Dorothea Mackellar

The Bush Poets – Dorothea Mackellar

When we are feeling homesick or contemplative, we often find ourselves turning to Australian Bush Poetry. For many of us, Bush Poetry evokes a sense of belonging and a deeply-rooted yearning to spend more time in nature. It’s a genre that we can’t get enough of, for its lyrical splendour and inherent connection to our landscape. It was particularly prevalent in the latter decades of the nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries, during which some of our favourite pieces of Australian prose were published, including those by Henry Lawson, Banjo Paterson and one of our favourite female bush poets, Dorothea Mackellar

Dorothea loved performing and here she appears as a Grace (1918) / My Country, Part 3

Dorothea’s childhood home, Dunara, Point Piper

A highly revered writer and poet, Dorothea Mackellar wrote so beautifully and earnestly about her romance with the Australian landscape. Born in 1885 in Point Piper, Sydney, Dorothea spent extended periods of time on her family’s country properties around the Hunter Valley and near Gunnedah – where a statue of her stands today. She travelled widely and was incredibly intelligent, enjoying writing, performing and exercising her ability to speak many languages fluently.

Dorothea holds a firm legacy as one of Australia’s Bush Poets, even more remarkable considering she wrote her most famous work, “My Country” at the age of 19.

Dorothea holds a firm legacy as one of Australia’s Bush Poets, even more remarkable considering she wrote her most famous work, “My Country” at the age of 19. This poem has a special place in our hearts – her observations and sentiments about the land resonate so strongly with the ethos of Southern Wild Co. and so we have included a stanza of this poem on the candle, Our Place. We developed the candle’s fragrance, colour and design in response to Dorothea’s poem and her notions of a ‘sunburnt country’, ‘land of the rainbow gold’ and her musings of ‘a land of sweeping plains’ and ‘ragged mountain ranges’.

With notes of sun-dried hay, amber and gumnut blossom, the candle smells so comfortingly of the place in the Australian landscape where the dense bush meets golden plains. The artwork on the Our Place candle, by Graham Gercken, depicts the Kanimbla Valley with golden late afternoon light cast over rolling hills of dried grass, punctuated in the distance by isolated, towering gums. For us, this image realises Dorothea’s words so poignantly, stirring within us the deep, shared love for our landscape.