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Drifters by Bruce Dawe

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Drifters by Bruce Dawe This poem is about a family that's always on the move, with no place to settle down for long, hence the poem was titled 'Drifters' to describe this family. 'Drifters' looks at the members of this family response to frequently change and how it has affected them. This poem is told in third person narration in a conversational tone. This gives the feeling as if someone who knows this family is telling the responder the situation of this family. The use of phrases like 'notice how the oldest girl...' gives a feeling that the narrator is pointing out to the responder the family members, as if the narrator and the responder are both present at the scene when the family's moving at the time. The blackberries were used as an indicator of time, showing us how long the family has stayed in this place for, and the changes of the blackberries from when they had first arrived to when they were leaving also used as a symbol to create mood of sadness and the lost of hope. ...read more.


By the time of they're leaving, the berries will have become 'Shrivelled fruits'. The berries have changed and the hope that it once signified will be dried like the berries. The different family members react differently to the decision to move. The small children wouldn't be upset by having to move again, in fact they'll be excited because they're young and it's all fun and adventure like to them. Perhaps for a family like this the young children may have been in situations like this many times, maybe for as long as they remember. 'and the brown kelpie pup dashing about and tripping everyone up,' gives a very real image of a family moving houses with pets. The first nine lines of the poem gives the responder a feeling that this is just an ordinary family moving, though 'and she'll go out to the vegetable patch and pick up all the green tomatoes from the vines,' gives the reader a feeling that the decision made to move was made quite ...read more.


This poem looks at the different responses to the change of location. For this family, changes cause them problems because having to move houses so often means that they'll have to spend so much time adapting to a new environment. Once they 're almost settled, they need to move off to a new environment again and they'll have to adapt to that new environment. The green tomatoes on the vines is a symbol that represents that, they planted the tomato plant, and they were so close to getting ripe tomatoes from the vines but since they have to move again, they're not going to get a chance to get the fruit. This could be the same for other aspects of their lives, making new friends could be an example. They may have just started to become friendly with the people of their neighbourhood, but soon they'll have to move again. The family is not going to get enough time to enjoy their newly adapted environment because soon they'll have to adapt to a new one. ...read more.

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