I have been told to describe the tone of the poem "Then and Now" by Oodgeroo Noonuccal.I don't understand. Please help quickly!

Expert Answers
amarang9 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The tone is nostalgic and melancholy. The speaker remembers a simpler and perhaps more peaceful time before European colonization in Australia. The boomerang and woomera were Aboriginal weapons: artifacts associated with this previous period in Australia's history. The speaker affectionately recalls this time before European colonialization and industrialization. This was a time when people were freer, more in touch with nature and, according to the speaker, happier.

This is a common theme in Romantic poetry. The nostalgia is for a pre-industrial or pre-civilized time when people were concerned with the simplicity of live: not so concerned with the rapid pace of historical progress. This historical nostalgia is analogous to the personal nostalgia for the simplicity and wonder of childhood. This is also a theme common to many Romantic poems. So, this poem is nostalgic and melancholy.

But its tone is also resentful because it is a lament about the European colonization of Australia. Noonuccal was an Australian poet and activist for Aboriginal rights.