Bruce Dawe Essay

Bruce Dawe idea of belonging is shown through two of his poems, ‘Up the wall’ and ‘Drifters’. Dawe has used a number of techniques to capture the audience’s attention and help draw the reader into the poem, including imagery, symbolism and personification. Dawe appeals to the reader’s sense of belonging to help the reader relate to the poem.
The poem ‘Drifters’ is about a nomadic family who struggle to find a place where they can live and feel as if they belong. The author has used lots of imagery throughout the poem to show the reader that the family doesn’t stay in one place very long. This is conveyed in the poem through a number of quotes; “pick all the green tomatoes from the vines” shows that the family can never stay is one place long enough to make good friendships and establish roots into the community. The family is always moving from place to place never staying long enough to feel as if the belong. Dawe shows his sympathy for the family by implying that life for their family isn’t very easy. Here Dawe uses the phrase, “loaded ute bumps down the drive” and compares it to the up and downs of the family’s life.
Dawe also uses third person narration instead of bring across his opinion. The use of phrases such as “she’ll go out” is a simple statement of fact, with no revelation of the narrator’s personal view of their situation. Instead Dawe removes himself from the poem to resist making judgement. There are mixed feelings in the family about moving, “the kids will yell ‘Truly?’ and get wildly excited” while “the oldest girl is close to tears because she was happy here”. The younger kids seem to like moving from place to place where as the older girl is dejected because she was making friends and starting to feel as if she belonged in the place where they were staying. It seems belonging in the family requires movement.
Symbolism in the poem is used to represent a new beginning or a fresh start. “When they came here she held or her bright with berries,”...