Thursday, 20 September 2007

The Wide, Brown Land for me : Pourquoi j'utilise cette expression

Dorothea Mackellar OBE, (1 juillet 1885-January 14, 1968), était une poèt australienne née à Sydney en 1885. Sa poésie est considérée comme la poésie quintessencielle du "Buisson". ( buisson: une explication pour une autre occasion)
Sa poésie plus connue est, My Country, ("Mon Pays"), écrit à l'âge 19 tandis que nostalgique en Angleterre, et d'abord édité dans le "Spectateur de Londres" dans 1908 sous de titre le "Noyau de Mon Coeur".
La deuxième strophe est parmi les morceaux les plus bien connus de poésie australienne.
Maintenant, vous tout savez d'où cette expression vient, l'expression que vous entendez tellement souvent, de moi.

Dorothea Mackellar OBE, (July 1, 1885-January 14, 1968), was an Australian poet born in Sydney in 1885.
Her poetry is regarded as quintessential bush poetry. 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 is amongst the most well-known pieces of Australian poetry

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!


Now, you all know where this phrase comes from, the phrase that you hear so often, from me.

10 comments:

Marie said...

Oh merci beaucoup pour ce magnifique post, M. Benaut. C'est le genre de posts que j'adore.

Ceci dit, on dit "bush" en français aussi, et pas seulement quand on parle du président des US. On parle du bush en Afrique du Suid, etc.... On utilise beaucoup de mots anglais en français et ça ne plait pas à tout le monde.

M.Benaut said...

Vous dites de telles choses gentilles, Marie. Je suis honoré par vos mots gentils. On pourrait savoir que 60 pour cent de l'Anglais sont dérivés du Français.

Nous vous avons donné, "le weekend", mais pas "le fortnight" Cependant, le bifteck est une abomination, présentée à la belle France par les Américains après la deuxième guerre mondiale! Grrhhhrr !

Comme vous pouvez voir, nous avons une grande zone au centre de notre pays, que nous appelons, the back of beyond. I do not know how to translate this phrase in French in a way that it will convey the correct meaning. Peut-être vous pourriez me dire l'expression que les français utilisent pour décrire cet endroit ? SVP

Robyn said...

"Her beauty and her terror." A powerful description.

M.Benaut said...

Oui, Robyn,

There is so much beauty in that expression of terror. One needs to transport one's mind back 100 and more years when there was no communication, no support, and the nearest neighbour was 100 miles away. The early settlers were tough, yet there were poets and artists amongst them.

dive said...

I'd wondered where that was from.
That's beautiful, Monsieur B.
Thank you so much.

M.Benaut said...

Well, Dive, it all started with loaves of bread 'going missing' as you have described so eloquently some little time back.
However, South Australia was the only state to NOT have convicts. We had 'free settlers', only. Another point in the continuing interstate rivalry.

It's interesting to see that at age 19, she had these verses published in the 'London Spectator'.

"My Country" : by Dorothea Mackellar, : 1904

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 rugged 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!

The stark white ring-barked forests,
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon,
Green tangle of the brushes
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops,
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When, sick at heart, around us
We see the cattle die
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the rainbow gold,
For flood and fire and famine
She pays us back threefold.
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze…

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand
though Earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.

M.Benaut said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Proxima Blue said...

Yeah! So happy to know you do have a blog of your own for me to visit!

I see you are a Gemini. I spent most of my childhood with my paternal Grandmother who was a Gemini. Very kind-spirited. I can't say that I meet many Geminis though.

I'm a Sagittarian, Tiger. I suppose you could be the monkey on my back if you wanted too. (laughing)

I'll bookmark you so I can find my way back here.

Take Care,
-P

claude said...

Very beautiful and thanks for the entire poem.

dive said...

The Spectator has diminished considerably since those days, Monsieur B. Now it is merely the Tory Party "funny paper", locked in an eternal grapple with Socialist "funny paper" The New Statesman (The Staqggers).