Bruce Dawe's "Enter Without So Much As Knocking": An Analysis
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Enter Without So Much As Knocking (p 15 of Sometimes Gladness)
"Remember, man, thou art but dust, and unto dust though shalt return." This is a translation of the quotation which begins Dawe's poem, Enter Without So Much As Knocking. The quote reminds us that life is not forever; and that we are all faced with mortality.
The poem itself is discussing a man's journey from birth to death and how all around him life is interpreted by material possessions. At the beginning of the first stanza, the sentences have been made very short and simple, as if to demonstrate the thoughts of a new born child. The first voice that the baby hears when he is born is Bobby Dazzler, one of Australia's first game shows. The very first thing that the baby…show more content… As in the beginning of the fourth stanza, the first word of the stanza brings the reader back to a different part of the boy's life and a different event. This new event shows the character as no longer a boy, representing innocence, but in the company of "godless money-hungry back-stabbing miserable so-and-sos". We can tell from this that Dawe is trying to show that the boy has now grown up and has been introduced to the "real world" and is now already a middle-aged man. The phrase "goodbye stars" relates back to the fourth stanza. He must also farewell the "soft cry in the corner"; a farewell to any emotions. It is at this point that Dawe includes the adult voice of the boy. The character speaks the need to care for yourself first and foremost, no need to think about the effect it may have on others, shown in the statement "hit wherever you see a head and kick whoever's down". This harsh change from innocent boy to selfish man is how Dawe is creating the character. The adult man is shaped by his dialogue in the poem. The character has grown up and no longer discusses his family, yet no mention of a wife or children is present until the next stanza, and then only to criticize. This fifth stanza is the first one to portray him as an adult, and Dawe has managed to make the character seem harsh and unkind.