Judith Beveridge is known for using a number of themes in her poems that hold strong meaning and relate to today’s society in some way such as the value of life and the inequality between men and women. She also has some reoccurring themes she likes to use such as animals and the personification of objects and animals. In her poem, Fox in a Tree Stump, the central theme dictated is man’s cruelty to animals. She depicts this theme with harsh imagery surrounding the young girl and the fox. One example of this is when she is unwillingly forced by her uncle to lure out the fox and take the life of it herself.
She ends up killing it and having to cremate it. This poem manages to clarify the value of life by showing us how easily the most dominant species on earth, humans, can take the life of another more helpless animal. It also shows one’s willingness to engage in violence just to redeem their fulfilment of a hobby, such as hunting. The poem manages to relate to the movie Avatar because it shows how precious and smart different lives can be and it shows how our ignorance to an unknown species can make us foolishly misunderstand them and bring ourselves to ruining their society.
This is revealed in the movie when the Humans misunderstand the Navi as simple minded creatures and they take it as an advantage to mine their planet for expensive resources. Another poem of Judith Beveridge’s is The Lyrebirds. Like Fox in a Tree Stump, this poem also is centred on the theme of an animal. Other themes in the poem are “humanity’s relationship with animals” and “The value of life”. The theme “The value of life” is present in the poem because it shows how a small brown bird can demonstrate such amazing feats in vocal noises and characteristics. The relationship with animals” theme is present because of how humans misinterpret the birds as one of their own because o the convincing sounds they can imitate, such as the revving of chainsaws and the timber mills. She uses a few metaphors in the poem such as “scavengers of sound” in stanza seven, which represents the bird’s keenness to scavenge for others sounds than their own, so they can imitate it. Onomatopoeia is present throughout the poem as well, such as the “crack” and “whip” of the bird’s throat, or the “whistle” of the workers. The poem looks back to a time before destruction of Aboriginal culture in the bush.
It relates to Avatar in this way because in the movie also you get to see the human destruction to an indigenous culture in the bush. Like with the lyrebirds and how humans managed to destroy part of their land farming for wood, in Avatar the humans also end up destroying part of the Navi’s land just to farm their extensive and rich resources. In conclusion, Judith Beveridge manages to present a number of meaningful and important themes in her poems. She proves good points about the value of life and how humans can impact it. We also can see how the movie Avatar demonstrates this theme very well with relation to Judith Beveridge’s poems.