Memorable Idea in Kenneth Slessor's Poetry

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Ali Mufti- Year 12

English Extended Response- Slessor’s Poetry

Essay Question: In your view, how does Kenneth Slessor’s poetry create the concept of memorable ideas through poetic techniques?

A memorable idea is a concept that is thought about or remembered by a person because of the meaning that it may create. Slessor’s poems “Out of time” and “Beach Burial” convey the concept of memorable ideas. This is done through the thematic concerns of the poems, along with the use of poetic techniques.

“Out of time” portrays memorable ideas to the audience through its theme. Slessor points out that time is an unstoppable element and it has an effect on everything, regardless of it being living or dead. ‘I saw time flowing like a hundred yachts’. This quote illustrates that time is unstoppable. Slessor shows the dominancy of time in relation with the number of yachts (a hundred). Therefore the quote has a simile in it to show the value of time. ‘Eager to quench and ripen, kiss or kill’. The following quote shows the inevitability of time and that it has major effects on everything in the world. The quote suggests a major impact on everything with the words ‘quench’, ‘ripen’ and ‘kill’. These words are very strong and intense, showing the authority that time has. The poetic technique has time personified as an unstoppable person that performs their duties, thus portraying the concept of memorable ideas to the audience.

Kenneth Slessor’s “Beach Burial” deals with the concept of memorable ideas also in relation with its theme. The theme is of remembrance for people of war, mainly Australian soldiers. The dead are buried hastily in a time where the people burying them are also fighting. The name of the dead may not be known and the only trace of their existence in the grave is ‘Unknown Seaman’. Other than that, they are nothing. ‘Between the sob and clubbing of the gunfire, somebody it seems has time for this, to pluck them from the shallows and bury them in...
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