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5 Pages Essays / Projects Year Uploaded: 2023

Aboriginal author and activist Jackie Huggins writes: ‘Our motto is a united Australia, one that respects the land and the heritage of its indigenous peoples and provides justice and equity for all’ (Huggins 2021). Drawing from this Samuel Wagan Watson’s poetry can be read as a description of the discrimination Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people face in modern Australia and Watson’s hope for a future of reconciliation. Watson, born in 1972, is an Indigenous Australian poet. He grew up in Brisbane alongside activist parents who were involved in Indigenous Rights protests and movements which shaped his perspective, mainly protesting colonial Australia and promoting change (Zetl & 2021). His poem “last exit to Brisbane” (2002) (LEB) depicts residential Brisbane from a post- colonial viewpoint, revealing its despondent history that still impacts Indigenous Australians today. Watson’s “smoke signals” (2004) (SS) explores the racial and socio-economic contrast between Indigenous Australians and white Australians through the recurring motif of smoke. Watson utilizes a variety of poetic devices, such as visual imagery, enjambment, juxtaposition, structural volta, and extended metaphor in his poems to confront readers with the realities of history and inform them of the oppressive ideologies perpetuated in modern society.

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