Please name the cause of the drought in the poem "Drought Year".

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sullymonster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Judith Wright, the author of "Drought Year", does not discuss in her poem the cause of the drought.  However, as is the case with all droughts, the cause is a lack of rainfall.  Rain is needed to provide water to both the vegetation and the animals on Earth, as well as to prevent the spread of fire.  When rain does not fall for an extended period, the water present evaporates and is not replaced, thus causing a drought.

Wright focuses on the effect of a drought in the Australian outback.  In doing so, she presents a few different views of nature.  The first view is harsh - the air is "embered" (as if from fire) and the little bit of vegetation is "crackling".  The second view of nature is sad - the world has become "spent", the dingo is crying, and the big horse "lay where he died". 

Wright not only describes these effects of drought, but sets them up like a warning for people to avoid such a wasted land.  The image of the horse is propper up in order to announce: "Turn this way and you will die".  The message here is that nature can be dangerous and must be heeded.

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Drought Year

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