The poetry of Bruce Dawe #2

Poem: Homo Suburbiensis by Australian poet Bruce Dawe

            On reading this interesting poem my immediate thought was that it expressed isolation and alienation. Australian suburban life can be – often is – a lonely, soul destroying place to be. Sadly, many do not know anything about their neighbours, not even their names. The whole poem expresses the loneliness and isolation of one man, lost and confused in his vegetable garden, the ‘one constant in a world of variables.’

            Everything in the poem spoke to me of the ordinary, the every day, the mundane, ‘the clatter of a dish in a sink,’ and ‘the far whisper of traffic.’ Everything in this poem speaks to me of the utter hopelessness of some city dwellers. It is almost a dirge of despair, summed up in the last line: ‘time, pain, love, hate, age, war, death, laughter, fever.’


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