Australian language is unique and distinctive and. Aussies speak with a distinct style that is spurned from a national sense of humour, playfulness and affliction with irony. Many individuals from across the world find when Australians speak, to be quite overwhelming and difficult as when Australians speak they usually cut words back, for an example “afternoon” is “arvo” or they change the words to mean the same thing – just another way of saying it such as “vomit” is to “hurl.” They have their own phrases. It can call be very odd, but it defiantly engages others that do not have knowledge about Australian language into the conversation. Australian language will be something that will be around for eternity, it continues through every coming generation.
Australian language is something that is used every day, you see it on social media, television programs and movies but it is seen a lot in literature, particularly poetry. In my essay I will be writing about two fantastic poems written by Australian poets that have made some interesting poetry. The first poem I will be writing about is Homecoming by Bruce Dawe and the second poem is Back to Melbourne by Kominos. The poet’s ideas are expressed in Australian language bringing their listeners unique and distinctive themes using poetry and the use of techniques these poets present and the Australian experience.
In the poem “Homecoming” the writer, Bruce Dawe, creates a specifically Australian cultural context where young Australian soldiers have been fighting and died in the Vietnam War and the lack of respect and identity that was attributed to them. The title “Homecoming” is used effectively to contrast the traditional universal implications of the word, with the shocking reality of dead soldiers flown home to Australia from Vietnam to grieving families. The word ‘homecoming’ usually implies a celebration or Heroic welcome for a great achievement, with a return to roots and family. However, the title has this return but with a saddening twist, because the homecoming described in the poem is related to death, mourning and loss with the arrival of a nameless body to a home country, this is quite different from the heartfelt joy extended to a loved one at a normal homecoming.
Using Repetition, repeated use of the pronoun “they’re”, hints at the impersonal relationship between the bodies and their handlers. Repetition of the suffix “-ing” in “bringing”, “zipping”, “picking”, “tagging”, and “giving”, describing the actions of the body processors, establishes irony. These verbs imply life and vitality, in stark contrast to the limp, lifeless, cold body that they handle each day. Repetition is used effectively to highlight the shocking brutality that has manifested in all wars throughout history. Dawe portrays vivid visual imagery to draw attention to the emotional pain caused to family and friends through the death of a loved one. “Telegrams tremble like leaves from a wintering tree” and “the spider swings in his bitter geometry” presents the arbitrary grief that affects those who receive notices. Personification of the telegrams shows them as “trembling” under the burden of the news they must deliver, ending any hope for families wishing their loved ones will return alive and well. The association of telegrams to leaves falling from a “wintering tree” is a powerful image, providing the audience with an idea of the wide number of passed away soldiers. Dawe later suggests that a “wide web” joins all countries, with none able to escape the “spider grief” associated with war.
Through the further use of imagery, Dawe succeeds in writing poetry that has universal appeal by underscoring the savage nature of war. The Simile “whining like hounds” emphasizes the destructive characteristics of war, also depicting dogs as sympathetic feelers of human emotion. For these dead soldiers, there is no big parade and music, only “the howl of their homecoming”.