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Core of My Heartca.1907

by Dorothea Mackellar

Early in 1908, a young Dorothea Mackellar (1885–1968) sat down to write out the final draft of a poem she had been working on for four years. ‘Core of My Heart’ (later ‘My Country’) would become the poet’s greatest achievement as a writer, and create a lasting landmark in Australia’s literary heritage.

The only known manuscript version of the poem in its original final form was recorded in Mackellar’s notebook, ‘Verses 1907-1908’. Dorothea is known to have worked up her initial ideas, revising the text of her poems in letters to family and friends, before transcribing a ‘clean’, final draft of her work into poetry notebooks, like this one, which she compiled chronologically each year.