Subject Matter/content: This poem is about the returning of Australia soldiers from the Vietnam War. Bruce Dawe illustrates and recounts tragedies from the war and outlines the negative atmosphere surrounding this loss. Dawe is speaking for the soldiers who can no longer express themselves.
Theme- what is the poet’s message/how has he developed it?: Bruce Dawe mainly wanted to deliver the message that the Vietnam War was completely a senseless waste of human lives (or war is completely dehumanizing. The poem is based around the literal returning of passed Australian soldiers in the sense that they were not appreciated. He has developed his theme through his use of his poetic technique.
Mood/Emotions: The main mood evoked by this poem is a kind of sadness and lament. The first line shows an example of this…”All day, day after day, they’re bringing them home.” The repetition used through this line conveys a sense of relentlessness and tediousness. The vibe expressed by the poet is even-tempered and negative. Bruce Dawe successfully expresses these emotions through his use of language, as I am able to feel his sense hopelessness and sadness. He arouses sympathy through his poetic techniques.
Technique-Use of Language to communicate the message: The language used in this poem is very appropriate and provides a vivid image of the events that occurred in the Vietnam War. Homecoming begins by creating the setting, allowing readers to understand the mood of the poem. The first line in the first section, conveys a sense of lament…”All day, every day, they’re bringing them home”. The use of repetition of the ‘a’ sound generates a sort of repetitive and slow feeling, making the first line sound almost relentless and unending. The use of ‘they’re’, shows that the poet is not directly specifying who he is talking about, making it seem even more serious and solemn. In the second line, Bruce Dawe keeps using the words- they’re, those and them. This creates repetition of ‘th” sounds directing the reader’s attention to these words. The phrase “those they can find”, effectively exaggerates how little they can find and can also expresses that most have been killed elsewhere. This immediately creates an uneasy sensation. This has very successfully helped develop the message as it symbolically shows the large numbers that were killed in the Vietnam War. This use of “them, they’re and their”, gives the impression that these people have lost their individuality and were just one of many.