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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
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. http://www.chuckiii.com/Reports/Miscellaneous/Bruce_Dawe_Apology_for_Impatience.shtml
(Accessed 26th May 20000
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