The anti-war sentiment in "Homecoming" is more direct than in Dawe's other well-known war poem, " Weapons Training ", written two years later. The ironic use of the word homecoming , with its usual connotations of celebration, as the title becomes apparent on reading the poem, in which the acts of collecting and processing the bodies of the war dead and shipping them home are described in a highly repetitive fashion, with a rhythm that evokes the beat of a funeral drum.  Although the poem was written in 1968, the year Dawe left the Royal Australian Air Force , it had its origins, according to Dawe's biographer Peter Kuch, in Dawe's earlier "political awakening in Melbourne in the mid-1950s" and in particular his personal reaction to the fall of Dien Bien Phu in 1954.  Before joining the RAAF, Dawe had worked as a postman. John Kinsella has proposed that Dawe's experiences during that time are echoed in the final lines of "Homecoming":
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