‘Drifters’ by Bruce Dawe
Donald Bruce Dawe was born in 1930 in Geelong, Victoria, Melbourne, he is one of the most successful and prolific contemporary poets of Australia. He struggled with his studies, leaving school when he was sixteen, working as a gardener and postman. In 1954 he entered the University of Melbourne. He grew up in a household where his father, a farm labourer, was often unemployed and absent from home. The poem ‘Drifters’ by Bruce Dawe should be selected for the prestigious honour of ‘Best Contemporary Australian Poem’ as it is a realism poem, describes Australian lifestyle felicitously, which lead the Australian contemporary audiences easily fall in the poem and deeply engraved in their mind. Bruce Dawe drifted…show more content… As the poem explained, the family members do not agree with the idea of leaving just for the sake of leaving.
Bruce Dawe uses symbols to create moods showing sadness and the loss of hope. Dawe’s line ‘and when the loaded ute bumps down the drive past the blackberry canes with their last shriveled fruit’, the blackberries were used as an indicator of time, on their arrival the berries were the 'first of the season' but by the time when they drove past the blackberry cane was they're saw only 'their last shrivelled fruit'. This tells us that they perhaps only stayed for about two or three months. ‘The brown kelpie pup will start dashing about, tripping everyone up’ The dog run around barking, shows the scene of a chaotic house, it also conveys a sense of bad luck to the family. A “kelpie” is an Australian sheepdog, in Scottish it refers to an evil water spirit that takes the form of a horse and drowns travellers. This cross-meaning gives the poem a sense of danger, implying that the family is not only traveling with a puppy for the children but is also an omen of bad luck. The unexpectedness of the move is conveyed by the fact that the tomatoes are still green on the vine. They never live in the one place long enough for the tomatoes to ripen. This could be the same for other aspects of their lives, making new friends could be an example. They started to become friendly with the