The title of this poem is associated with many positive connotations such as celebrating, coming home, love, safety and security. The word ‘Homecoming’ makes the readers think of a happy day for both the soldiers returning and their loved ones who are awaiting them back home. However as we read the poem, the title becomes ironic and gets associated with opposite meanings to what we first thought. In this case the ones returning home are dead.
Bruce Dawe has written the poem ‘Homecoming’ as a dedication to not only the soldiers who fought and survived but also the ones who passed away in the Vietnam War in 1968.
The poet uses many language techniques to give more meaning and depth to this poem. By the use of repetition, he has emphasised on the large number of the dead soldiers returning home. In this poem Dawe continuously refers to the bodies as “them” making the readers think of the soldiers as a large group and not as separate individuals who once breathed and lived. The soldiers are also being categorised as “curly-heads, kinky-hairs, crew-cuts, balding non-coms” this just shows that the looks, race or the class of the soldiers did not matter in the war, at the end they were all the same with a lacking sense of identity. The quote “They’re tagging them now, they’re giving them names” represents that after all this time of fighting in the war, the soldiers are being identified but now the only use is so that the right bodies can be returned to their families.
The poet uses strong imagery in lines such as “they’re rolling them out of the deep freeze” through this; he creates an imagination and paints a picture of the emptiness and tragedy that the people who are dealing with the dead bodies might feel. Also by using similes and metaphors the poet has created more