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“Homecoming” by Bruce Dawe and “Dulce et Decorum” by Wilfred Owen

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For my coursework on poetry I have selected the following two poems for my coursework. “Homecoming” which was written by Bruce Dawe and “Dulce et Decorum “which was written by Wilfred Owen. Bruce Dawe was an Australian poet who was born in 1930 and is still living. Dawe left school at 16 and took a series of jobs before night classes let him enter the University of Melbourne. He was also influenced by Vincent Buckley and Chris Wallace Crabbes poetry that he left. He then became a factory worker in Sydney then he became a post man in Melbourne before he joined the royal Australian Air force from 1959 to 1968 where he served in Malaysia

Wilfred Owen is a British poet who was born in 1893 and died in 1918 one week before the war ended. Owen was awarded the Military Cross for serving in the war with distinction. He wrote poetry from an early age. Most of his poetry at first was inspired by religion. He then became increasingly disapproving of the role of the church in society. In 1913 he went to France to be thought English there until 1915. Owen made the difficult decision to enlist in the army and fight in world war one (1914- 1918). He entered the war in October 1915 and fought as an officer in the battle of the Somme in 1916 but was hospitalised for shell shock in May 1917. In the hospital he met Siegfried Sassoon, a poet and novelist whose

grim anti-war work was in harmony with Owens concern. Under Sassoon’s care and tutelage, Owen began producing the best work of his short career, his poems are suffused with horror of battle, and yet finally structured and innovative.

Wilfred Owen starts the poem “Dulce et Decorum Est”, with “Bent double,” which he says instead of marching back. He uses the simile” like old beggars” to show what the 17 and 18 year olds have been reduced to. He writes “under sacks” which suggests rubbish sacks to describe their kit bags. He uses “knock-kneed” which suggests they are so tired that their knees knocked together. He writes coughing “like hags” instead of saying coughing like old women, this makes the soldiers like the dregs of society. He uses alliteration to draw attention to the “Men marched asleep “like sleep walking. He states “All men lame; all blind;” they were blind from the flares and because of the darkness. “Drunk with fatigue” and “deaf even to the hoots” suggests that all their senses were affected by the war. Avery harsh pitcher of the war is painted. Then he goes on to describe a gas attack on these men. “An ecstasy of fumbling fitting the clumsy helmets” The alliteration”fumbling fitting” describes their panic clearly.

He uses “But someone still was yelling out and stumbling, and flound’ring” He then goes on to describe the terrible death of one young

soldier and this proves that there is nothing glorious about dying for your country.

The writer changes from past tense to present tense. He says “In all my dreams, before my helpless sight, he plunges at me, guttering, chocking, drowning” suggesting that Owen had to live with the night mare night after night.

The writer uses “smothering” to get across that he as well as the soldier was having difficulty breathing. In the last verse he addresses the reader and poets like Jesse Pope and tells them that there is nothing glorious about dying for your country.

Bruce Dawe starts the poem “Homecoming” with “All day, day after day, they’re bringing them home,” he uses repetition of the word “day” he could have wrote it the deaths are never ending. He says “picking them up” while he is trying to get across that they are of know importance. He says “those they can find” when he could have said some are blown up, prisoners, just can’t find them or they are lying in pieces. He writes “bringing them home” Again he uses repetition when he says “they’re bringing”. He says “piled up on the hulls of tanks, in trucks, in convoys”. Stressing just how many there were. He says “green plastic bags “while

he could have said body bags or is he trying to give us the opinion they’re rubbish bags. He writes “they’re tagging them now” like animals. He says there “giving them names” as if they’re not sure who they are. He writes about them being kept in “deep-freeze” while this is usually where meat is keep. He writes “Tan Son Nhut” this gives us the reality of the real airport. He says “noble jets whining like hounds,” he uses personification and a simile the people are dying all around the place and no one is morning for the men the jets are the only things that are expressing sympathy and the jets seem to be more valuable than the men who are dying and giving them a lack of sympathy and the men are dehumanised. He says “bringing them home

Curly-heads, kinky-hairs, crew-cuts, balding non-coms” again he uses repetition he uses harsh words not soft and tells us that people are dying who are not even fighting in the war. He writes “they’re high, now, high and higher”, he uses repetition as if they are moving towards heaven. He says “over the land, the steaming chow mein” he uses a metaphor because says “heading south, heading south,

Home, home, home- and the coasts swing upward, the old

Ridiculous curvatures

Of earth, the knuckled hills, the mangrove-swamps, the desert emptiness.” they are so high up that they are going through the different climates and that the war was 1000s of miles from home that they shouldn’t have been there that is the theme of his poem He says “tilt towards these like skiers” while he could have said when the plane tilts they tilt to like skiers he also is sarcastic as skiers are full of life while they are dead.

He says “taxiing in” while he could of said the plane comes in. he says” the howl of their homecoming rises” the jets or the people waiting for them are morning them. He says “their last moments” which were probably spent in mobile hospitals the “mash” is the name the Americans gave mobile hospitals. He says “towns where dogs in the frozen sunset raise muzzles” the dogs in the streets were welcoming them through the streets. He uses alliteration as he says “whose wide web of suburbs”. Again he uses alliteration when he says “telegrams tremble” which means informing people of the deaths. He says “like leaves from a wintering tree” this time he uses a simile and means practically gone everything’s dead. He says “and the spider grief swings in his bitter geometry” which means like a spiders web anywhere theirs grief ion it is everywhere rich or poor. Again he uses reputation “they’re bringing them home, now, too late, too early” he says this because they are dead they

died too young and because the war wasn’t over they should have pulled out because it wasn’t there war to fight in.

The structure of the poems. The writer uses the structure to get across the attitude to war. It starts of by saying that there bringing who ever they can

find home anyway they can. Then they are tagging them with any name tags. Then it goes on to say how far they had to travel to get home. This shows that it wasn’t their war. Then they are home and they get there official reception. After that the only people who remembered them are their familes.

The poet uses form to get across his attitude to war. He does this by having no verses so it is one long sentence. This suggested that the war is never-ending. There is only one capital letter at the start. This poem is written in free verse.

The poem that applied to me most was “Dulce et Decorum est” because it was focusing on the negative points of the war and Wilfred Owen was anti war. Another reason why I liked the poem is because most people

think it is great to fight and die for your while Wilfred Owen just said that it is stupid to die for your country.

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