The Bridled Pegaroo, or, Is there a Colonial Poetics of Intertextuality


Greek myth relates how Pegasus, immediately after its birth, flew to Mount Helicon, where the stamping of its hoofs caused the Hippocrene Spring, the source of all inspiration, to burst into life. Later, with the help of a golden bridle given by Athene, it was caught and tamed by Bellerophon, the darling of the gods. The biography of Pegaroo, its Antipodean descendant, is the exact opposite. It comes into the world 'tamely ... yoked' (Melrose, 'Dedication', Song 3), its wings clipped, and in the harness strapped on it by John Bull at Britannia's command. Its freedom of movement is severely limited, and the waters from which it stills its thirst flow not from the slopes of Mount Kosciusko, but from Thames and Avon.

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