Isobel Marion Dorothea Mackellar was an Australian poet and fiction writer.
Life and Works
The only daughter of noted physician and parliamentarian Sir Charles Mackellar, she was born in Sydney in 1885. Although raised in a professional urban family, Mackellar's poetry is usually regarded as quintessential bush poetry, inspired by her experience on her brothers' farms near Gunnedah, North-West New South Wales.
Her best-known poem is My Country, written at age 19 while homesick in England, and first published in the London Spectator in 1908 under the title Core of My Heart. The second stanza of this poem is amongst the most well-known in Australia. Four ... more »
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Dorothea Mackellar Poems
The love of field and coppice, Of green and shaded lanes. Of ordered woods and gardens Is running in your veins,
This life that we call our own Is neither strong nor free; A flame in the wind of death, It trembles ceaselessly.
The Colours Of Light
This is not easy to understand For you that come from a distant land Where all thecolours are low in pitch -
At the dawning of the day, On the road to Gunnedah, When the sky is pink and grey As the wings of a wild galah,
The lovely things that I have watched unthinking, Unknowing, day by day, That their soft dyes have steeped my soul in colour
The Open Sea
From my window I can see, Where the sandhills dip, One far glimpse of open sea. Just a slender slip
They're burning off at the Rampadells, The tawny flames uprise, With greedy licking around the trees; The fierce breath sears our eyes.
Over the crest of the Hill of Sleep, Over the plain where the mists lie deep, Into a country of wondrous things,
In A Southern Garden
WHEN the tall bamboos are clicking to the restless little breeze, And bats begin their jerky skimming flight,
THERE are some that go for love of a fight And some for love of a land, And some for a dream of the world set free Which they barely understand.
An Old Song
The almond bloom is overpast, the apple blossoms blow. I never loved but one man, and I never told him so.
The Waiting Life
Since it befell, with work and strife I had not time to live my life I turned away from it until Work should be done and strife be still.
Comments about Dorothea Mackellar
The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes.
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins,
Strong love of grey-blue distance
Brown streams and soft dim skies
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror -
The wide brown land for me!
A stark white ring-barked forest
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted ...