Analysis Of Drifters Poem By Bruce Dawe

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Title? Belonging is the pivotal axis around which human life revolves. Genuine poetry reflects directly or indirectly an awareness of the social problems of a country. Belonging and poetry, Miss Lawlor and my fellow students is one of the most curious combinations and this is what we see in the genre of poetry produced by the Australian poets in the 1960’s when……... Bruce Dawe was a vernacular poet known for his extraordinary empathy with people which characterises his poetry and gives a voice to the ordinary Australians. Throughout the poem Life Cycle Dawe represents belonging as having a strong link to sports through the skilful use of biblical allusion and colloquial diction. Throughout the poem Drifters Dawe represents belonging as that …show more content…

Dawe uses clever form, structure and mood to explore belonging, through the theme of sacrifice, which imposes a range of challenges on the mother and children. As we can see, the poem is written in free verse in the third person narrative with typical Australian jargon and imagery. The simple conversational form with the casual cadence and the spontaneity of telling an anecdote is highly appropriate as it makes the readers feel that the poem was written by the unsophisticated transient workers whose thought patterns drift from one observation to another. The unobtrusive vernacular language aptly depicts the hardship faced by the mother and children to have a sense of belonging to their family. The shrivelled fruit, the green tomatoes and the unpacked bottling set highlight the repeated upheaval caused by the house moves and make the readers feel as if they have witnessed a stark and melancholy moment. As the end of the poem approaches, Dawe justifies his positioning by informing the readers that the mother and children silently renounce their individual desires and accept the ‘drifter’ lifestyle in order to belong to the family in which they feel safe and loved. Dawe’s father was a farm labourer who moved from place to place to find employment. His mother longed for the stability in life that circumstances …show more content…

The phrases ‘notice how the oldest girl is close to tears’ in line 5 followed by ‘and how the youngest girl is beaming’ in line 6 is one of the profoundly moving dichotomies that clearly juxtaposes the two daughters’ inner perceptions of moving based on how they feel connected to the place they are living- the mature older girl wants to belong to an established community to create lasting relationships while the younger girl has childish anticipation of embarking on a new adventure. Dawe understates the girls’ emotions by using the words ‘close to tears’ rather than ‘crying’ and ‘beaming rather than cheering’ to show the extent to which the children compromise, to have a sense of belonging within their family. These words pluck the visual, auditory and kinaesthetic senses of the reader and allows them to feel the electricity, the anticipated movement is expected to have om the family. The use of the polysyndeton ‘and’ is highly appropriate in exposing the deep confusion in the minds of the two children. Further, the phrase ‘she was happy here’ in line 5 implies that ‘here’ is one in a chain of places in which the girls have lived. The words ‘she held out her hands bright with berries’ in line 12 present a precise and compassionate picture of the hope and optimism the woman has when the family first

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