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Bruce Dawe’s “Enter Without So Much As Knocking”

“Remember, man, thou art but dust, and unto dust though shalt return.” This is a translation of the quotation which begins Dawe’s poem, Enter Without So Much As Knocking. The quote reminds us that life is not forever; and that we are all faced with mortality. The poem itself is discussing a man’s journey from birth to death and how all around him life is interpreted by material possessions. At the beginning of the first stanza, the sentences have been made very short and simple, as if to demonstrate the thoughts of a new born child. The first voice that the baby hears when he is born is Bobby Dazzler, one of Australia’s first game shows. The very first thing…