I have chosen the poem, Lady Feeding the Cats by Douglas Stewart, to explore how the poet has used Australian visions to explore ideas about Australia. Douglas Stewart a poet who brings texts to life and shapes meaning giving them a distinctly visual image. He conveys this by using visual imagery and descriptive language in his poems this is conveyed in Lady feeding the cat. “Lady Feeding the Cats”, a poem links to the AOS- Australian Vision. The poem is really meaningful and deep as the cats described the old lady at the end to be a gracious and sweet queen of the cat” .
The lady in this poem is a poor person who lives in the slum and wears the bedraggled bonnet and clothing but she is the queen in those cats’ mind. In the poem, Douglas has described Domain and Moreton Bays as a part of Australia; it makes us aware that they lived in Australia and the behaviours from the lady who lives in bad conditions and is a poor person but still treats others well, especially the wild cats. The title, Lady Feeding the Cats, is appropriately chosen as symbolises a sense of volunteering and mateship.
As shown in the text it claims that to feed those outlaws, represents and shows a metaphor for the great Australian values of volunteering and mateship. The poem lady feeding the cat has a sense of loneliness and links man and nature. Lady feeding the cat portrays a poor women living in the slums of Sydney and comes to the domain everyday to feed the cats. Stewart uses visual imagery throughout the first stanza “broken shoes”, slums weather stains. Douglas uses this technique to explain and paint an image in the readers’ head of this women’s economic standing in the world.
In the first stanza Douglas uses alliteration Shuffling-shoes-slums All the three words are interconnected showing someone who is ‘shuffling’ generally old – connected to shoes because he is hobbling along – slums shows the person shuffling is not just wearing old shoes but also lives in slums indicating poverty. Douglas Stewart also uses simile by stating like a pine in the rain- often pine trees are not grown very symmetric but rather looks straggly especially when it has been raining and everything is wet and drooping.
In the second stanza it says “they rub at her legs for the bounty that never fails” its shows the connection and the friendship between the lady and the cats exploring the Australians values about the mateship. The lady in this poem gets her salvation from these cats without the cats she would have nothing, the cats also rely on the lady without this lady they would not get fed. The metaphor “If she has fed their bodies, they have fed more than the body in her”, revels that the lady fed the cats but the cats have fed her with love.