'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)