Vol 3, No 1, 2004

"Walking Knee Deep in Ferns": Salvational Themes in the Poetry of Les Murray

Greg Smith


Cinema-goers today will hear metaphysical and 'religious' type references in movies like "The Matrix." In this search, secular society shows its need for paradigms better than consumerism to guide human existence. Coincidentally, the interdisciplinary study of theology, the arts and literature is doing the same, and this article demonstrates one attempt to raise theological questions in the arena of literature. This discussion argues that Les A. Murray's poetry provides an insightful understanding of salvation in the contemporary Australian context. For him, happiness, fulfilment or salvation is most optimally foreshadowed when "walking knee-deep in ferns."