Dorothea Mackellar’s My Country

Today, the 1st of July, is the anniversary of the birth of Dorothea Mackellar (1885-1968) who wrote the much-loved ode to Australia “My Country”, which is perhaps the most widely recited patriotic poem in Australia’s history.

Mackellar wrote the poem whilst staying in England, as a tribute to Australia and as an expression of her longing for her native land. As is the case with other poets, she made several small adjustments to her poem over the years, which explains minor differences between published versions. It was first published as “Core of My Heart” (1908), although later re-titled as “My Country”.

The lines of her poem’s second stanza are the most well-known:

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!

Her words describe Australia not just as an idyllic and majestic paradise, but as a land that holds many challenges and hardships for its people.

Before her passing on the 14th of January 1968, Dorothea Mackellar had written several books of poetry, as well as some novels; however, it is “My Country” for which she shall always be remembered.


References:
My Country, Official Dorothea Mackellar Website
Mackellar, Isobel Marion Dorothea (1885 – 1968), Australian Dictionary of Biography, Online Edition
My Country – Dorothea Mackellar, State Library of New South Wales
My Country read by Dorothea McKellar, YouTube
Dorothea MacKellar, Wikipedia

Comments

  1. Save Australia says:

    A great poem.

    We did it in school.

    Good on her for expressing her love for Australia in such a beautiful way.

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