One of the many factors that have contributed to the success of Australian poetry both locally and internationally is the insightful commentary or depiction of issues uniquely Australian or strongly applicable to Australia. Many Australian poets have been and are fascinated by the issues relevant to Australia. Many in fact nearly all of these poets have been influenced or have experienced the subject matter they are discussing. These poets range from Oodgeroo Noonuccal Aboriginal and women’s rights activist to Banjo Patterson describing life in the bush. Bruce Dawe is also one of these poets. His insightful representation of the dreary, depressing life of many stay at home mothers in “Up the Wall” is a brilliant example of a poem strongly relevant to Australia.
Bruce Dawe the common people’s poet has been influenced by a diverse range of experiences contributing to his wide range of subject matter. Dawe’s interests are quite eclectic yet his poetic “home base” is his interest in the lives of ordinary Australians, the experiences they go through and topics affecting them. Thus most of his poems are easily read by everyday Australians due to the simple yet effective vocabulary. Some of these topics include poems about suburbia, loneliness, old age and sport. Bruce Dawe is also strongly pacifist with his feelings on war most strongly pronounced in the poem “Homecoming”. Dawe’s interest in society is most likely due to his experience of being born into a lower class family his father having the menial job of a labourer. He also left school early having to do many menial jobs. Dawe’s poetry strongly focuses on the experiences of everyday working class Australians and thus his target audience is vast.
Bruce Dawe’s target audience the everyday working class Australian is an extremely vast target audience. However Dawe has been and is able to reach the majority through his wide range of subject matter. The average Australian probably doesn’t and never will be interested in learning the outdated language of classical poets yet since poetry is so important it is vital that they have something easy yet relevant to read when they feel like it. Bruce Dawe fills this gap his poems are easy to understand yet extremely relevant to this day and age rather than 400 years ago. Dawe’s poems feel natural rather than forced due to his experience of them. Therefore his poems on loneliness are extremely relevant to people currently experiencing it. He also writes for all of the Australian population warning them against letting materialism take over even more than it already has in various poems. Dawe’s poem “Up the Wall” seeks to spread the word about the often misunderstood life of the house wife.
Bruce Dawe is fascinated by domestic life and one most important aspect of domestic life is the dreary life of the stay at home mum. This is a very relevant issue for Australians as many people did and still do consider that the role of the mother is to stay at home...