ENTER WITHOUT SO MUCH AS KNOCKING
Analysis of enter without so much as knocking – 1956 -9
We enter the world rudely, without warning, at awkward inconvenient times, intruding into parent’s lives without consideration and can just as abruptly leave this world. The pretentious Latin caption is the beginning of a Priest’s incantation prior to an Ash Wednesday mass.
“Remember man that you are dust and to dust you shall return” I. SOUND EFFECTS
Contrast of silence to a crescendo of noise modulating and a return to silence. Onomatopoeic words — Beep, Beep - racy rapid pace. The parenthetical beeps could represent, apart from the obvious car horn, a censorship of swear words. Imagery of the "rat race" - the frustration culminates in a final BEEP. Noise words: Bobby Dazzler, traffic; (beep beep and BEEP), giant faces snarled and screamed.., accident.
II. SUBJECT MATTER
* “Blink, Blink..” Life is short, and over before you know it. * Traces the rites of passage from cradle to the grave.
* Social commentary from perspective of various phases of life. III, TONE
* Varies from gentle sympathetic to subtle satiric as the persona passes from one phase of life to another: objective, sardonic, sarcastic, parodic, cynical disrespectful. flippant, demotive, detached; undercutting pomposity and eroding the falsity and solemnity of any pretence. * fast racy, hectic pace of childhood congested life in the fast lane. * imperative tone during adolescence of sign posts “No Breathing!” * impersonal, depersonalised – no names of family members. The family has no warmth or closeness. * irony and satire of last stanza.
IV. POETIC TECHNIQUES
* anonymous archetypal male of the lucky country
* Not didactic - rather we are left to draw our own conclusions. Dramatised scenes
- much of the narrative is acted out; including direct speech - creates realism; verisimilitudeness.
Innocence, idealism of youth
| realism of experience
wonderment of stars
| “godless money—hungry.
sensitivity “soft cry..”
| ruthlessness “head kicking”
| Natural beauty
| man-made “fixing ..“
1st class mortician’s job
| image in real life
silence of: baby’s sleep! cemetery
| Noise of city life
| Omission (ellipsis)
Much of narrative is left out to be filled in by readers – his death is represented by a - dash. The trail-off sentences have conveyed three meanings: they show cynicism, are similar to rhetorical questions, and lead into the next stage of his life. Three of the stanzas in youth and middle age begin with link words: However, Anyway, Now, - They represent the fast pace of the poem and life. Humour
— caricatures - exaggeration, irony. ex:
Motifs — provide unity, cohesion - togetherness.
- Cars (name?)
- Bobby Dazzler
- stars.. Consider the alternative meanings of "stars" - movie stars, aspirations. Figurative language -
ex: “underground metropolis
Stressed words at beginning of new line:
ex: “ unadulterated fringe of sky”
“ kick whoever’s down”
Dawe is renowned for his exceptional ear for the tones, patterns, rhythms, cadences and resonances of the Australian vernacular idiomatic speech. Like Henry Lawson before him and countless others since (David Williamson), Dawe strives to imitate the tribal voice he hears the ordinary (battlers) Australian speak. His wide variety of occupations, and the unusual range of people he has met enriched his language and he is able to reproduce authentic echoes of the flexible, colourful and diverse Australian colloquialisms and slang which he surreptitiously slips into what at first sight appears solemn poetry: “even adding a healthy tan he’d never had living, gave him back for keeps the old automatic smile with nothing behind it...”
Slipping In the parenthetical “back for keeps” undercuts any suggestion of seriousness we might have entertained in what might have been potentially a very emotional and tragic premature death. The net...
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