‘Core of my Heart’ (later ‘My Country’), Original Manuscript Draft Poem by Dorothea Mackellar

‘Core of my Heart’ (later ‘My Country’), Original Manuscript Draft Poem by Dorothea Mackellar

Country  Australia
Repository  State Library of New South Wales, Corner of Macquarie Street and Shakespeare Place, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Section  Inscriptions on Asia-Pacific National Registers
Gender Dimension  Achievements of women in history
GEM  GEM 1– Gender Sensitive
Description  In 2017 Dorothea Mackellar (1885-1968) became the first Australian woman writer to be honoured by UNESCO when the manuscript copy of ‘Core of My Heart’ (later ‘My Country’) was inscribed onto the Australian Memory of the World register. It was also the first literary work to be inscribed onto the Australian register.

‘My Country’, Mackellar’s most iconic achievement as a writer, stands among Australia’s most important examples of literary heritage. She wrote the first draft in England between 1904 and 1908. The only known manuscript version of the poem in its original form was recorded in Mackellar’s notebook, ‘Verses 1907-1908’, prior to its first publication in September 1908. In the century since its creation, it has had an almost immeasurable impact on the collective consciousness of Australians. For many, ‘My Country’ remains the ultimate expression of the centrality of the land to Australian identity.

‘My Country’ was written at a time when Australian literary output was dominated by men. Mackellar’s gift of a keen imagination allowed her poetry to respond to every impression derived through the senses. It was also written at a time that Australia was coming of age as a nation and on the brink of participation in global warfare. It quickly found a responsive chord in people's hearts and is one of Australia’s most beloved lyric poems.

The documentary heritage was inscribed onto the Australian Memory of the World register in 2017.
Reference  - https://www.amw.org.au/register/listings/dorothea-mackellar-core-my-heart-my-country

- Mackellar, Dorothea. (1907). Box 16 Item IV/C: Dorothea Mackellar 'Verses 1907-1908', 1907-1908. More information available at https://search.sl.nsw.gov.au/primo-explore/search?vid=SLNSW

- Photo credit: © State Library of New South Wales
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