Bruce Dawe has received wide recognition as Australia’s most popular poet, his books often being set for study at secondary and tertiary levels. Slo-Mo Tsunami offers a typically wide range of poems covering personal, social, political, and religious issues.
Some critical opinions
Nicholas Birns, Australian Book Review: “It is because no single Dawe poem strains to grasp the totality of life that Dawe can summon a kaleidoscope of public and private feeling with poems that continually delight and surprise. He is an eligible popular poet because he is accessible in both language and attitude. Attitude is key: Dawe’s audience is generously included in the poems through his eschewal of an overly forceful poetic persona.”
Margaret Saltau, The Age: “Equally evident is Dawe’s intense involvement with and response to every experience. Like William Blake, he demonstrates the ability ‘To see a world in a grain of sand’. Dawe bestows on the minutiae of life a mythic significance, both gently mocking and affectionately admiring. He celebrates the milestones and familiar icons of our existence and our culture, insisting on their value…”
Kilian McNamara, Wizard Study Guide: “It is very difficult to assign Dawe’s poetry to a particular genre. Obviously his place is secure among the great Australian poets and he shares with some of his contemporaries a passionate engagement with the social needs and pressing issues of this century… Much of his poetry is in the public domain; his concerns shared by many working men and women… He is modern without being avant garde, contemporary without being radical. In this respect he could be likened to W. H. Auden.”
K. L. Goodwin, York Notes: “More than any other poet in Australia, Bruce Dawe has assimilated the influences of his generation of poets and combined them in a set of interests and a style that spread across from popular poetry into literature. He is the one contemporary poet who is genuinely literary and genuinely popular. He writes about matters of social, political and cultural interest to the great middle mass of the Australian population.”