Many of Bruce Dawe’s poems have a heavy message and a bleak meaning relating to society’s weaknesses and downfalls.
“Enter without so much as knocking” is a poem that is critical of consumerism in the modern world. The poem itself is a story of one man’s life, from birth till death and is a satirical look at modern society and its materialism. The poem begins with the Latin line “Memento, homo, qui, pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.” This means in English “Remember you are dust and dust you will return”. This is the central idea of the poem; no matter how many materialistic items we acquire and consume, in the end, we all end up at the same place. The poem then follows by speaking of a baby waking into life, "Blink, blink. HOSPITAL, SILENCE". The sentences are deliberately short and simple. The baby awakens in the hospital and begins to experience the signs and expectations. The first thing that the baby hears is not the sounds of a loving mother, but the voice of materialism that is symbolised by "Bobby Dazzler"
"A year or two to settle in and get acquainted with the set-up". This statement is cold, and impersonal. It does not convey any individuality upon the household, which is referred to when the child’s family is described as if they were from convenience stores. Dawe uses advertising language such as well-equipped, smoothly-run and economy-sized to describe the members of the family. These people are like products themselves, now just part of the consumer system. This is an obvious exaggeration, but this is Dawe’s technique to show that consumerism has dehumanised the family and taken away the individuality of people.
Dawe uses onomatopoeia to convey the rush of day to day life by inserting “beeps” throughout stanza three. This not only suggests the “beeps” of car horns but also the censoring of words as society becomes fed up with daily life. In stanza four the character gets a glimpse of untouched, natural beauty. “A...