'Les Murray Country'
Development and Significance of an Áustralian Poetic Landscape
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This study traces the development of 'Les Murray Country' the Australian poet Les Murray's vision of his 'spirit country' around Bunyah in rural New South Wales, from his earliest published volume of poetry in 1965 to his latest poems. Les Murray grew up on a dairy farm in Bunyah, NSW, and returned to live there after thirty years of absence in 1985. Poetry about 'his' country has always been an important strand in his work, even when he was living in what was for him 'urban exile' A detailed analysis of the relevant poems by Les Murray that focuses on the continuities and changes in Les Murray's vision of 'his' country over the decades forms the main part of this study. The study also discusses the ways in which the circumstances of the poet's life and turning points in his life affect his perception of 'Les Murray Country'. A brief discussion of influential conceptions of Australia and their affinities to 'Les Murray Country' rounds off the argument.