Drifters single work   poetry   "One day soon he'll tell her it's time to start packing,"
Issue Details: First known date: 1968 1968
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Notes

  • In the first draft, the first line read: 'One day soon he'll come home and tell her it's time to start packing...' The poem was not published in any source with the added phrase.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y An Eye for a Tooth : Poems Bruce Dawe , Melbourne : Cheshire , 1968 Z547251 1968 selected work poetry Melbourne : Cheshire , 1968 pg. 14
  • Appears in:
    y Australian Letters vol. 8 no. 1 January 1968 Z595595 1968 periodical issue 1968 pg. 48
  • Appears in:
    y Condolences of the Season : Selected Poems Bruce Dawe , Melbourne : Longman Cheshire , 1971 Z546924 1971 selected work poetry Melbourne : Longman Cheshire , 1971 pg. 60
  • Appears in:
    y Twelve Poets, 1950-1970 12 Poets, 1950-1970 Alexander Craig (editor), Milton : Jacaranda Press , 1971 Z77157 1971 anthology poetry Milton : Jacaranda Press , 1971 pg. 111-112
  • Appears in:
    y The Land's Meaning L. M. Hannan (editor), B. A. Breen (editor), South Melbourne : Macmillan Australia , 1973 Z873720 1973 anthology poetry South Melbourne : Macmillan Australia , 1973 pg. 64
  • Appears in:
    y What's Yours? : An Anthology of Australian Poetry Alvie Egan (editor), Bundoora : Victorian Foundation on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence , 1977 6630167 1977 anthology poetry Bundoora : Victorian Foundation on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence , 1977 pg. 61
  • Appears in:
    y Sometimes Gladness : Collected Poems 1954-1978 Bruce Dawe , Melbourne : Longman Cheshire , 1978 Z543663 1978 selected work poetry Melbourne : Longman Cheshire , 1978 pg. 101
  • Appears in:
    y The Golden Apples of the Sun : Twentieth Century Australian Poetry Chris Wallace-Crabbe (editor), Carlton : Melbourne University Press , 1980 Z62463 1980 anthology poetry Carlton : Melbourne University Press , 1980 pg. 160
  • Appears in:
    y The Collins Book of Australian Poetry Rodney Hall , Sydney : Collins , 1981 Z542215 1981 anthology poetry Sydney : Collins , 1981 pg. 294-295
  • Appears in:
    y My Country : Australian Poetry and Short Stories, Two Hundred Years Leonie Kramer (editor), Sydney : Lansdowne , 1985 Z1067493 1985 anthology poetry short story Sydney : Lansdowne , 1985 pg. 625
  • Appears in:
    y Sometimes Gladness : Collected Poems 1954-1987 Bruce Dawe , Melbourne : Longman Cheshire , 1988 Z898040 1988 selected work poetry Melbourne : Longman Cheshire , 1988 pg. 91
  • Appears in:
    y Cross-Country : A Book of Australian Verse John Barnes (editor), Brian McFarlane (editor), Richmond : Heinemann , 1984 Z900285 1984 anthology poetry (taught in 1 units) Richmond : Heinemann Education Australia , 1988 pg. 194
  • Appears in:
    y The Penguin Book of Modern Australian Poetry John Tranter (editor), Philip Mead (editor), Ringwood : Penguin , 1991 Z151302 1991 anthology poetry Ringwood : Penguin , 1991 pg. 175
  • Appears in:
    y The Faber Book of Modern Australian Verse Vincent Buckley (editor), London : Faber , 1991 Z563845 1991 anthology poetry war literature satire humour London : Faber , 1991 pg. 156-157
  • Appears in:
    y Australian Poetry in the Twentieth Century Robert Gray (editor), Geoffrey Lehmann (editor), Port Melbourne : Heinemann , 1991 Z27032 1991 anthology poetry Port Melbourne : Heinemann , 1991 pg. 252
  • Appears in:
    y Sometimes Gladness : Collected Poems, 1954-1992 Bruce Dawe , Melbourne : Longman Cheshire , 1993 Z470171 1993 selected work poetry humour satire Melbourne : Longman Cheshire , 1993 pg. 84
  • Appears in:
    y Family Ties : Australian Poems of the Family Jennifer Strauss (editor), South Melbourne : Oxford University Press , 1998 Z115299 1998 anthology poetry South Melbourne : Oxford University Press , 1998 pg. 132-133
  • Appears in:
    y Australian Verse : An Oxford Anthology John Leonard (editor), Melbourne : Oxford University Press , 1998 Z461207 1998 anthology poetry (taught in 1 units) A thorough survey of poetry by Australians in English, beginning with a selection of contemporary work by younger poets, and going backward in time to the early colonial period. In addition to poems in the literary tradition, it indudes performance poetry, convict songs and old bush ballads. An extensive selection has been provided from the work of five major twentieth-century poets: Les Murray, Gwen Harwood, Judith Wright, A.D. Hope and Kenneth Slessor. Several features are provided to assist the reader: the date of first publication of each poem is provided; footnotes explain unfamiliar words and allusions; and brief biographical notes assist in locating each poet in his or her place in time. Melbourne : Oxford University Press , 1998 pg. 142
  • Appears in:
    y 50 Years of Queensland Poetry : 1940s - 1990s Philip Neilsen (editor), Helen Horton (editor), Rockhampton : Central Queensland University Press , 1998 Z893557 1998 anthology poetry Rockhampton : Central Queensland University Press , 1998 pg. 50
  • Appears in:
    y Seven Centuries of Poetry in English John Leonard (editor), South Melbourne : Oxford University Press , 2003 Z1058257 2003 anthology poetry (taught in 6 units) Contains poetry from twelve countries, including Australia, and spans the development of English poetry over seven centuries. South Melbourne : Oxford University Press , 2003 pg. 62
  • Appears in:
    y 80 Great Poems from Chaucer to Now Geoff Page (editor), Sydney : University of New South Wales Press , 2006 Z1313999 2006 anthology poetry criticism A collection of Page's criticisms previously published separately in the Canberra Times under the title 'ReVerse'. Sydney : University of New South Wales Press , 2006 pg. 279
  • Appears in:
    y Two Centuries of Australian Poetry Kathrine Bell (editor), Smithfield : Gary Allen , 2007 Z1472336 2007 anthology poetry Smithfield : Gary Allen , 2007 pg. 215
  • Appears in:
    y Sixty Classic Australian Poems Geoff Page , Sydney : University of New South Wales Press , 2009 Z1570296 2009 single work criticism (taught in 3 units) 'This is a superb introduction to poetry from the nineteenth century to the present. With insight and insider knowledge, poet Geoff Page emphasises the contribution made by the notable generation of Australian poets who emerged during and just after World War II. It includes several contemporary poems which are likely to become classics in the near future. Each poem is followed by a short, lively essay discussing its merits and suggesting why it might be considered a classic.' (Publisher's blurb) Sydney : University of New South Wales Press , 2009 pg. 149
  • Appears in:
    y Bruce Dawe : Life Cycle Stephany Steggall , Port Adelaide : Ginninderra Press , 2009 Z1627487 2009 single work biography

    'Bruce Dawe: Life Cycle acknowledges one of Australia's best known poets and one of his best known poems. His life cycles have been poverty, perseverance and personal happiness; the rhythms of his being are the rhythms of his poetry - persistently fearless in speaking out on social and political issues; consistently sensitive and lyrical about painful concerns; insistently witty and satirical on just about anything. His range of poetry resists wrong and reveals a great love of his fellow man and a deep understanding of life. This biography is the first time that Dawe's life has been interpreted in full through his poetry, and the poems take on new significance when read in this context. The subject is telling some of the story in his own words - in poems.

    Sometimes Gladness is Dawe's signature title and a best-seller of about 130,000 copies. Now in it's sixth edition, the book expresses a life long attempt to understand the balance between gladness and grief, the common factors of human experience. Verse cartooning and satirical humour, the constants of more than fifty years of writing, are much admired and enjoyed by readers and listeners of all ages. Dawe, one of Australia's first and most successful performance poets, provides imaginative scope to fill the spaces between humour and the pathos.

    The reader of Bruce Dawe: Life Cycle shares a large experience, which effectively starts with 'Strictly En Passant', the first poem in the first book, No Fixed Address. Dawe looks forward to the multiplicity of 'feel and fragrance, sound and sheen' that his life will hold and he anticipates that, while he may not fully understand yet the meaning of a satisfactory existence, 'Time may build on this...' the existence culminates in 'Autobiography', in which Dawe measures what has been built. He says that he 'wouldn't have missed for anything' the experience of his life.' (Publisher's blurb)

    Port Adelaide : Ginninderra Press , 2009
    pg. 154
  • Appears in:
    y The Puncher & Wattmann Anthology of Australian Poetry John Leonard (editor), Glebe : Puncher and Wattmann , 2009 Z1674214 2009 anthology poetry (taught in 16 units) Glebe : Puncher and Wattmann , 2009 pg. 192
  • Appears in:
    y Australian Poetry Since 1788 Geoffrey Lehmann (editor), Robert Gray (editor), Sydney : University of New South Wales Press , 2011 Z1803846 2011 anthology poetry (taught in 1 units) 'A good poem is one that the world can’t forget or is delighted to rediscover. This landmark anthology of Australian poetry, edited by two of Australia’s foremost poets, Geoffrey Lehmann and Robert Gray, contains such poems. It is the first of its kind for Australia and promises to become a classic. Included here are Australia’s major poets, and lesser-known but equally affecting ones, and all manifestations of Australian poetry since 1788, from concrete poems to prose poems, from the cerebral to the naïve, from the humorous to the confessional, and from formal to free verse. Translations of some striking Aboriginal song poems are one of the high points. Containing over 1000 poems from 170 Australian poets, as well as short critical biographies, this careful reevaluation of Australian poetry makes this a superb book that can be read and enjoyed over a lifetime.' (From the publisher's website.) Sydney : University of New South Wales Press , 2011 pg. 584

Works about this Work

Bruce Dawe (1930 -) : 'Drifters' Geoff Page , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Sixty Classic Australian Poems 2009; (p. 150-152)
ReVerse Geoff Page , 2006 single work criticism
— Appears in: 80 Great Poems from Chaucer to Now 2006; (p. 279-281)
The Face Bernard Lane , 2001 single work biography
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 7-8 July 2001; (p. 3)
Much More Could You Say : Bruce Dawe's Poetry Noel Rowe , 1998-1999 single work criticism
— Appears in: Sydney Studies in English , vol. 24 no. 1998-1999; (p. 102-117)
'Bruce Dawe's reputation as a vernacular poet can be a disadvantage. I once heard an eminent Australian critic remark that once you'd read his poems there wasn't much more you could say. The implication was that his work had an immediate appeal but no depth and that to exercise one's critical faculties on work so colloquial in pitch and perspective would be a waste of a well-trained mind. At the same time I encountered the poetry of Philip Martin. Martin is a writer Dawe acknowledges as his friend and mentor, yet Martin's poetry seems at first very different: the accent is more cultivated and the focus more personal. There is, however, at least one important similarity: both practise 'the art that conceals art', exercising great control of rhythm and speech stress to create an apparently uncomplicated voice. It is only when you do read their poems — that is, read within rather than over their poems — that you find there is much more you could say.' (Author's abstract)
y A Study Guide to Bruce Dawe's Sometimes Gladness Kilian McNamara , Ballarat : Wizard Books , 1996 Z516198 1996 single work biography criticism
Bruce Dawe Dagmar Strauss (interviewer), 1990 single work interview
— Appears in: Facing Writers : Australia's Leading Writers Talk with Dagmar Strauss 1990; (p. 79-92)
Struggling With an Imperial Language Chris Wallace-Crabbe , 1989 single work criticism
— Appears in: Southerly , September vol. 49 no. 3 1989; (p. 409-420) Falling into Language 1990; (p. 32-44)
Bruce Dawe's Inventiveness Chris Wallace-Crabbe , 1976 single work criticism
— Appears in: Meanjin Quarterly , Autumn vol. 35 no. 1 1976; (p. 94-101) Toil and Spin : Two Directions in Modern Poetry 1979; (p. 59-68)
ReVerse Geoff Page , 2006 single work criticism
— Appears in: 80 Great Poems from Chaucer to Now 2006; (p. 279-281)
Bruce Dawe (1930 -) : 'Drifters' Geoff Page , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Sixty Classic Australian Poems 2009; (p. 150-152)
Much More Could You Say : Bruce Dawe's Poetry Noel Rowe , 1998-1999 single work criticism
— Appears in: Sydney Studies in English , vol. 24 no. 1998-1999; (p. 102-117)
'Bruce Dawe's reputation as a vernacular poet can be a disadvantage. I once heard an eminent Australian critic remark that once you'd read his poems there wasn't much more you could say. The implication was that his work had an immediate appeal but no depth and that to exercise one's critical faculties on work so colloquial in pitch and perspective would be a waste of a well-trained mind. At the same time I encountered the poetry of Philip Martin. Martin is a writer Dawe acknowledges as his friend and mentor, yet Martin's poetry seems at first very different: the accent is more cultivated and the focus more personal. There is, however, at least one important similarity: both practise 'the art that conceals art', exercising great control of rhythm and speech stress to create an apparently uncomplicated voice. It is only when you do read their poems — that is, read within rather than over their poems — that you find there is much more you could say.' (Author's abstract)
Struggling With an Imperial Language Chris Wallace-Crabbe , 1989 single work criticism
— Appears in: Southerly , September vol. 49 no. 3 1989; (p. 409-420) Falling into Language 1990; (p. 32-44)
Bruce Dawe Dagmar Strauss (interviewer), 1990 single work interview
— Appears in: Facing Writers : Australia's Leading Writers Talk with Dagmar Strauss 1990; (p. 79-92)
Bruce Dawe's Inventiveness Chris Wallace-Crabbe , 1976 single work criticism
— Appears in: Meanjin Quarterly , Autumn vol. 35 no. 1 1976; (p. 94-101) Toil and Spin : Two Directions in Modern Poetry 1979; (p. 59-68)
y A Study Guide to Bruce Dawe's Sometimes Gladness Kilian McNamara , Ballarat : Wizard Books , 1996 Z516198 1996 single work biography criticism
The Face Bernard Lane , 2001 single work biography
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 7-8 July 2001; (p. 3)
Last amended 12 Nov 2013 11:43:22
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