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Enter without So Much as Knocking Commentary

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Introduction

Bruce Dawe is a contemporary Australian poet who in interviews has stated that he is very interested in placing ordinary things alongside extraordinary things. As an example, in one of his poems he places the word, cornflakes, alongside a serious matter of death. Strategically, Dawe chose the medium of poetry within which to write as it is the best medium through which to convey emotions, feelings, and thoughts. Poetry, by definition, employs many devices such as rhythm and rhymes which apart from diction; give readers a feel for what the poem is all about. This poem "Enter without So Much as Knocking" is structured with 9 stanzas with one epigraph on top. Each stanza consist different number of lines, except for last two stanzas having a single line. There is no rhyming scheme throughout the whole poem. Bruce Dawe structured out this poem with each stanza representing each stages of human life; starting with birth, toddler, young boy, teenager, adult, car accident and death. There are differences between the subject and the theme of the poem. In the poem 'Enter Without So Much as Knocking', Bruce Dawe brings up the subject of life throughout the poem. However, his theme is different to the subject. Throughout this poem, Dawe brings up themes such as; the human condition, no significances of life and death and adult's ignorance and their selfishness. ...read more.

Middle

This idea of consumerism again appears in line 17 'good-as-new station-wagon', providing a description that the product is new not second handed. From line 18 to 25, child is experiencing the world inside his mum's car. Dawe uses capitalisations with all the signs 'WALK. DON'T WALK. TURN LEFT. NO PARKING. WAIT HERE. NO SMOKING. KEEP CLEAR/OUT/OFFGRASS. NO BREATHING EXCEPT BY ORDER. BEWARE OF THIS. WATCH OUT FOR THAT' to enhance the idea of life is full of imperative signs and rules to obey. These signs start off realistically, but become satirical. Dawe uses hyperbole in one of the signs 'NO BREATHING EXCEPT BY ORDER' to send across his message that some rules are stupid. There are repetitions of the onomatopoeic 'beep' represents, apart from obvious car horns, a censorship of swear words with the last 'beep' representing the conclusion of the frustration. Stanza 4 is the stage of being a teenager. As the stanza starts with the word 'however', the poet brings a hope to the teenager's life. Dawe uses a phrase 'he enjoyed', this comment on the child's opinion is the first sign of any emotions in the whole poem. The word "Unadulterated" is also used in advertising, and its use here to describe something naturally beautiful is a contrast, and illustrates an underlying theme of the poem - that of the contrast between "The horror of man and the beauty of Nature." ...read more.

Conclusion

Stanza 8 and 9 are just single line stanzas. In stanza 8, nobody is interested anymore as he does not affect their life anymore, hence showing the ignorance and selfishness of the adults. In stanza 9, there are repetitions of the onomatopoeia just like the first stanza 'blink blink'. The place 'CEMETERY' is being capitalised to illustrate the importance of the setting. Both of the place 'HOSPITAL' and 'CEMETERY' is being capitalised to exemplify the life and death happens in hospital and cemetery. In the last stanza, the word 'Silence' has only capitalised 1st letter whereas in 1st stanza, the word 'SILENCE' is fully capitalised to illustrate, the beginning of life is more important than the end of the life. Looking with the point of view of adults, the child may affect their life whereas, dead body cannot. This also enhances the theme of ignorance and selfishness of the adults. The first and the last stanza are nearly identically similar, which Dawe written this with purpose to show to the readers that the life and death are symmetrical. This poem 'Enter Without So Much as Knocking' by Bruce Dawe written in 1959 is a poem which contains few different themes; human condition, no significances of life and death and adult's ignorance and their selfishness, based on one single subject of life. This poem utilises a lot of poetic devices such as; mood, irony, hyperbole, onomatopoeia and repetition to enrich the ideas getting acrosss to the reader. ...read more.

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