Bruce Dawe - Aos: Physical Journeys

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A number of poems from Bruce Dawe’s anthology ‘Sometimes Gladness’ focus the reader’s attention on significant aspects of physical journeys. The poems ‘Drifters’ and ‘For the Duration’ look specifically at particular aspects of the physical journey. Explain the aspects of physical journey that these two poems examine and evaluate the role that Bruce Dawe’s choice of language plays in conveying successfully his perspective. _________________

Bruce Dawe’s poems ‘Drifters’ and ‘For the Duration’ emphasise on the emotional aspect of physical journey where it is tied to the attitudes towards journey, the companionship in the journey, overcoming obstacles and fulfilling the desire of destination. Bruce Dawe uses language techniques such as imagery, colloquialism, tone and repetition to convey some specific aspects of physical journey.

The poem ‘Drifters’ is about an itinerant family, due to the family’s economical needs, are forced to move from one place to another and never staying long enough for them to feel settled down. The title ‘Drifters’ is enough to give readers an insight of what the poem is about. The title indicates what the family does, drifting from one place to another, following the seasons for fruit picking. Dawe uses imagery on the title to portray that their work influences or dictates where they go - a forced journey. Using imagery, Dawe has portrayed an inevitable journey that the family has to take, and the aspect of physical journey of moving from one place to another by means of survival.

Throughout the poem, Dawe has utilised the technique of writing the poem in third person. In doing so, he was able to established a detachment between the readers from the family’s emotional experiences of the journey. By utilising this technique, it allows Dawe to observe the variety and intensity of the different individuals’ responses to the journey. ‘The kids will yell “Truly”?’, ‘the oldest girl is close to tears’, ‘the youngest girl is...
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