05 September 2014

Australians, Poms and Poems

Sometimes, I have been called a "Pom" by people who are not particularly well-educated or informed.  Nor did I arrive in Australia as a Ten Pound Pom.  I am not descended from convicts.  Nor have I have ever been a "Prisoner of Mother England".

The fact is no-one really knows how the term POM came to mean English or even British.   Even so, it has been a well-known expression for many years, as an article from 1929 reveals.

Yet to say that I am a "Pom" is more revealing of the person using the term, especially as an indication of their prejudices, ignorance and lack of courtesy.  I am just as much of an Australian as anyone born here. Why do I know this?  Because when I read poetry about an Australian landscape, I know that I am part of that landscape.  When I read poetry about an English landscape, it rarely evokes a feeling of home.

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