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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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