Many of Bruce Dawe’s poems have a heavy message and a bleak meaning relating to society’s weaknesses and downfalls. In his free verse poem “Homecoming” Dawe promotes his ideas, attitudes and values about the Vietnam war to represent his negative perspective of war as a whole. This is evident through Dawes representation of war as a dehumanising conflict in where soldiers are given a lack of respect and honour. Dawe masterfully utilizes imagery, sound devices and irony to also convey his perspective about war.
Dawe promotes the idea that the soldiers are given a lack of respect to represent his negative perspective of war. In the first eight lines Dawe refers to how they’re “picking”, “bringing”, “Zipping” “tagging”,“ giving” and “rolling” the dead soldiers days after day, monotonously following the same routine and treating them in a somewhat a seemingly cold and offhanded way. These simple words are repetitive; they aim to enhance the effect of imprinting a strong image within the readers' visual imagination of the relentless pace. This Forces the readers into feeling great injustice for these soldiers who have sacrificed their lives for their country, within the war. Yet their bodies are treated no less than animals, following a strict routine of piling up in trucks, convoys, tagging them, giving them names, and boarding them onto the jets so they can finally return to their beloved home. In this way, daw deliberately evokes emotions such as sadness and anger about deaths in war, which reveals that he values respect and honour towards the soldiers. This definitely enables him to represent war negatively.
Irony is the most powerful device Dawe unitizes in his free verse poem. The title itself “Homecoming” is an irony as the image of homecoming is usually the heroic welcome back for great achievers who have