Blog writer, is ATTEMPTING to appreciate ‘The Measure’, by Dame Mary Gilmore. One might have selected either of Henry Lawson’s two featured poem, in this curriculum (‘Faces in the Street’ and ‘The Union Buries its Dead’), as both paint very vivid pictures, of a slice-of-life, as it were, of what common Australia was like at that time, in the late 19th century. Surprisingly, one did appreciate them both, genuinely.
However, there is just that one, or two lines, of the last stanza, being:
Weeds on the garden pathways grow Where the swift feet were wont to go…
One understands, that that Dame Gilmore’s poem, is about young (or any-aged) Australians going off to fight overseas’ based wars. In some respect, ‘The Measure’, in its entirety, could be about the futility, or the unjustifiable need of war!
The way writer sees those two lines, is about the passing of time generally – whether one has ever gone off to war-zones, or just left home for permanent, or other much extended period of time. Primarily, for writer, it comes down to a sense of time passing and a farewell to one’s halcyon days of bygone years – only, just to remain in one’s memory, of what childhood was like.
This sense of time passing, or missing of a former way-of-life, is probably made much more pertinent, by actually going off to conflict, and possibly facing certain death (which is what any war effectively is, anyway). Additionally, the line
And yet, the equal sun looks down On kingly head and broken clown, And sees, not friend and foe, but man and man
implies that all humans on Earth, are completely equal. Maybe also, that world wars are completely man-made and in the whole scheme of things, was are of no bearing (or should not be) in the existence of life.
Again, personally; ‘The Measure’ seems to imply that ultimately everyone’s fate is fairly much the same – eventual death. So, blog writer is not the only one in reminiscing of the former years, when swift feet were wont to go.