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Homo Suburbiensis, Drifter?s and Life-Cycle, Bruce Dawe, a well renowned

Australian poet was born in 1930 in Geelong. Who was once portrayed as ?an

ordinary bloke with a difference?. Bruce Dawe writes about ordinary Australian

people in the suburbs confronting their everyday problems. He observes and

records the sorrow and hardships of average people struggling to survive back in

the 1940?s. Mr Dawe emphasises his views by composing three of his great

simple poems Home Suburbiensis, Drifters and my favourite Life-Cycle. Poem

?Homo suburbiensis?-Latin term for humans that live in the suburbs. The poem

shows a classical suburban household set on a quarter-acre block with a flower

garden and lawn in front and a vegetable garden (lawn) at the back. Dawe

maintains that there is one constant value in a unstable world where politics

play a major role. The man is a suburban householder standing alone in his

backyard on a quiet evening among his vegetables. Dawe’s captures humorous terms

like it?s "not much but it’s all we’ve got." The imagery suggests

that Dawe is both celebrating suburbia, while in some ways puts down the

suburban householders dreams: The rich smell of ?compost? and ?rubbish?.

The space taken vastly by overcrowds dry land with drying plants represent the

overcrowding of suburbia. His thoughts are lost escaping the pressures that

comes with life. The traffic unescapable to his mind. Dawe shows a sympathetic

look towards this person ?lost in a green confusion?, as even in the retreat

of his backyard he still cannot escape the lifestyle of suburbs. This is a good

example of an ordinary life, as this particular person needs to escape the

pressures, which highlight ?TIME, PAIN, LOVE, HATE, AGE, EMOTION, and

LAUGHTER?. All which are present and Dawe makes that aware of an

"ordinary life". Being achieved in his back yard. Dawe proposes that

ordinary lifestyles are not just eat, work, sleep but the strains people have to

face everyday. He goes into depths of people?s lives and makes their problems

obvious to the readers. Dawe faces people?s problems that is not bought up

everyday and are ignored Another poem in which Bruce Dawe tackles the issue of

ordinary people was ?Drifter?s? this poem represents family who move from

place to place, as the father needs to move by the demand of his job. The young

children are growing up to learn no other way of life, as they are all waiting

for the day they shall move again. The children get very excited about moving

from place to place ?and the kids will yell truly?. The eldest, she is

seeing what she is missing out on and is becoming aware that there roaming lives

may never change ?the oldest girl is close to tears because she was happy

here?. She realises she can not lead a normal teenage life as she is not

stationed long enough, to become friends with people her own age. She is

becoming frustrated with her life. From the above Dawe shows compassion for the

wife, as she has to go through this more than once ? she won?t even ask why

they?re leaving this time?. In addition, the young children are going to

grow up to realise they will too go through the same thing. Dawe also shows a

serious side in the poem, as the mother just wants to settle down and have a

peaceful future. Dawe has a sympathetic outlook towards the mother, by outlining

her hopes and dreams, also asking her husband Tom to make a wish in the last

line of the poem ?Make a wish, Tom, make a wish.? The ten-verse poem

?life- cycle? was probably the best known poem that Dawe wrote it foresees

the football fans in Victoria it describes the poem as ?something like a

religious believe and salvation? This poem is based on Australian invention of

Aussie Rules Football. It confirm football is portrayed as a religion and food

for many people in Victoria ?hot pies and potato-crisps they will eat?. It

also shows football sustains the young and replenishes the old. Its tradition is

life sustaining with no other thing better to do than support football. The poet

uses the language of football freely ? barracking?carn?streamers ?scarfed?

Demons? saints?ladder? final term ?three- quarter-time?. The slang

that he uses is very catchy and easy to understand what he went to say to the

readers. Dawe?s manner is ever so slightly disrespectful but gently so. He

respects the strength of football? life and the life sustaining qualities it

offers. The point he tries to state is the power and passion of Victorian

football in its homeland is wonderful to watch. In conclusion Bruce Dawe?s

skill in using appropriately simply word structure and rhythm, to re-create his

earliest memory of ordinary lifestyles people sustained in the late 1940?s is

brilliantly contracted. He?s work is to be admired by people it can be said

his a poet of the people, because he writes about the problems of life in a

language that everyone can understand. From all three of his varied poem?s it

can be observed that Bruce Dawe was very concerned about ordinary people since

his child hood. His poems are very emotional and sympathetic to Australian

society past and present. The great simple poems Home Suburbiensis, Drifters and

my favourite Life-Cycle is very ordinariness in deed. Overall, Dawe?s poems

are very appealing his concerns to point out injustice and those aspect of

society that need to be changed is well delivered.

Hayllar, Sadler. (1992) Poets and Poetry p 187 – 199 Macmillan Education

Australia: South Yarra. Mc farlane, Peter. (1998) Among Ants Between Bees P 78,

136-7, 157 Macmillan Education Australia: South Yarra.

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