Weapons Training

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Weapons Training
Bruce Dawe

‘Weapons Training’ was written by Bruce Dawe. Who became one of Australia’s most well known poets in the 1960’s. In 1959 he joined the RAAF, Royal Australian Air Force, and left to become a teacher in 1968. As his occupation in the RAAF, Bruce served as an air force officer, a person of high rankings. And from his years fighting in the Vietnam War, and serving our country, Dawe – along with many others, wrote a substantial amount of protest, or anti-war poems. Many of which became extremely well known.

My personal interpretation of this poem is an instructor, or person of high authority, teaching new recruits about their weapons, and the true experience of war. This is done to ensure that the new soldiers are prepared and completely understand what is to be expected of the coming months. The poem is about an experience, rather than a person. This was most likely a personal experience of Dawe’s, as many people in his position wrote poetry about everyday experiences throughout the war. Bruce Dawe is an Australian that hated war; thus this poem represents the viciousness and brutality of war. Therefore, since he hated war, he only represents the brutality of war; he makes use of a silence and simply doesn’t bring up the issue of the reasons for war. He simply thinks of was as an unnecessary for the war to take place, no ifs, buts or maybes.

The reason behind soldiers writing poetry while at war, besides them removing their bottled up emotions in a healthy manner, was to bring truth to the public. The views that an average person, living in a standard society has on war, differ extremely to one that has fought the hardships of war themselves. The way in which people think of war is that it’s a heroic journey taken by strong people that want to defend their country, and will return home equally as strong. Now, to a certain extent this statement is true. However, these strong people do not always realise how horrifying the...
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