Introduction to Bruce Dawe #

Bruce Dawe is an Australian Poet (1930 - 2020) born in Geelong Victoria as the son of a labourer. He left school (Northcote High) early and worked at odd jobs, - farm hand, handyman, gardener and postman. Dawe joined the R.A.A.F for 9 years and later studied at University part-time, gaining a B.A. M.A. & Ph D. He eventually became lecturer at University in Queensland.

Bruce Dawe had few pretentions. He preferred the lower case for his name and the names of his poems. Unfortunately this was too radical for publishers who thought it might corrupt the young. Dawe wrote poetry of and for the common man; the ordinary bloke, the little aussie battler. He celebrates the community, the social and working class he identifies with. His poetry is full of humourous, laconic insights (brief-to the point).

Dawe uses the language of the everyday Australians - the vernacular with its quirky colloquialisms, its idioms and common place clichés. He turned everyday speech patterns of ‘ordinary Australians ‘into the cadences of poetry.

Following Wordsworth and Coleridge he wanted his poetry to belong to the ordinary people.

According to Geoff Page Dawe’s poetry is affectionately suburban, witty, relaxed in its syntax but capable of formality and made with a human touch”. Australian Review, January 14, 2017.

Though he may not appeal to the intelligentsia, his poetry is full of perceptive observations and profound insights into the human soul and gentle mockery for the follies of society.

His poetry is there to enjoy. Have fun! Now that’s a command!