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 1940s. 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 its “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 peoples lives and makes their problems obvious to the readers. Dawe faces peoples problems that is not bought up everyday and are ignored
Another poem in which Bruce Dawe tackles the issue of ordinary people was Drifters 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 wont even ask why theyre 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 barrackingcarnstreamers scarfed Demons saintsladder 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. Dawes 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 Dawes skill in using appropriately simply word structure and rhythm, to re-create his earliest memory of ordinary lifestyles people sustained in the late 1940s is brilliantly contracted. Hes 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 poems 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, Dawes 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.
http://www.chuckiii.com/Reports/Miscellaneous/Bruce_Dawe_Apology_for_Impatience.shtml (Accessed 26th May 20000