Bruce Dawe Poetry

Bruce Dawe Poetry

  • Submitted By: zoejb
  • Date Submitted: 10/25/2008 12:38 AM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 1779
  • Page: 8
  • Views: 1

Australia considers Bruce Dawe as one of her finest literary figures, embracing his renowned criticism of Australia’s increasingly consumer-driven society and values. This causes one to ask how one man can be successful in carrying both labels, as surely the society he so frequently satirises would not embrace such a challenge of their values? His poems ‘Americanised’ and ‘Enter Without So Much as Knocking’ are prime examples of this as they are both upheld as some of his finest works, yet both are greatly satirical of consumerism and Australian consumerist society. However, it is this very ability to write humorous, satirical poems that makes Dawe so outstanding as he succeeds in manipulating poetic techniques to make his works entertaining, while delivering a very poignant message to his reader.

‘Americanised’ is a darkly satirical reflection on the decapitating control of America’s consumerist society and values over younger, developing nations. Dawe uses the extended metaphor of a ‘mother’ as America and the young ‘child’ as the young, developing nation[1] to immediately portray the maternal relationship America holds with other nations unable to ‘deny/ the beneficence of that motherhood’. Through the use of imagery he manages to create a scenario the majority of his audience would consider ‘normal’ (such as the ‘laminex breakfast-table-top’), making such a worldly, political issue readily accessible to the average reader. The mother’s actions reflect the values of modern society as she silences the ‘passing spasm of loss’ to maintain an illusion of perfection, smothers and cushions him from the reality of ‘“the streets … full on nasty cars and men”’, as materialistic values may cushion one from realities of the larger world, and denies his human instinct so he many be trained to ‘be a good boy’.

Dawe mocks America’s belief that their economic aid to these countries is an act of generosity as he shows the mother going off to ‘nurse an invalid called...

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