Homecoming (poem)

Homecoming (poem)

"Homecoming" is a poem written by Bruce Dawe in 1968. The poem is in the collection "Sometimes Gladness: Collected Poems, 1954 - 1992".

"Homecoming" is an anti-war poem written about the Vietnam War, but it could be written about any war. The poem describes the process of collecting and processing the dead from a war and shipping them home. It tells the story of soldiers coming home from war dead. The title is rather ironic. Dawe uses powerful techniques such as imagery, irony, paradox, repetition, accumilation and metaphors to portray deep emotions with an underlying layer of bitterness and spite which lashes out at all who promote war. At the beginning of the poem, the dead bodies are treated like garbage, being put into plastic bags, thrown recklessly into trucks and convoys and having no identity whatsoever until they arrive in Saigon where they are given names and stored in freezers like piles of meat. Lopsided|date=September 2008

Homecoming gives voice to the resentment felt by many towards the Vietnam War, the soldiers were villified on return from this unpopular war. The poem emphasises the pointlessness of Australia's involvement in the war and the destruction of the ANZAC legend. Homecoming empowers a marginalised group within the Australian Military discourse.

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