Bruce Dawe Exile Poem Analysis

Words: 607
Pages: 3

Consider yourself, you are exiled from your own land, you have no say, no rights. Not a position you want to be in, right? Bruce Dawe expresses what life was like for the innocent Indigenous citizens of Australia, in the early 1900s in his conspicuous poem ‘Exiles’. Terra Nullius, “Nobody’s Land” relates to the situation in an identifiable way as the land was never entitled to anyone. Dawe describes the impact exile has on the Aboriginal race; the pain they felt when the land they had tended for over 40,000 years was taken away from them. There was a huge emotional impact left on these human beings.

This free verse poem, containing seven tercets, repetition in the fourth stanza, alliteration in the very last stanza and two questions which leave readers on an urge to figure out the answer, fulfils ‘Exiles’ and creates a clearly structured poem. Once readers understand what they are reading, it will be lucid and will have a powerful effect, especially on people of these races.
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It is a touching, relational poem which addresses the issue of powerful white people taking over Indigenous land to benefit their lifestyle. In the beginning of the poem, motivated by the biblical exile of the Jews in Babylonia, Dawe draws a parallel to the current Aboriginal situation to express comparison between the two, Israel is awash with Babylonians [Line 2]. White man took everything away from the Aborigines: their innocence, belongings, responsibilities, power, everything: Driven derelict across the continent [Line 6]. In the early years of 1900, the white people thought they were of a higher class than Aborigines which influenced them to exile the Aboriginal residents out of their own land. Dawe uses vigorous titles for his poems, as they have the great effect of grasping readers’