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Australian Poet Kenneth Slessor's Use Of Imagery

671 words - 3 pages

Australian Poet Kenneth Slessor's Use of Imagery

Slessor's complex poems use many types of imagery, his imagery is one of his artistic techniques which defines him from other poets in Australia. One could say that his powerful words paint a picture for the reader but as they say, seeing is believing. Slessor uses many types of imagery however death, time and water are the main ones. He uses these in his poems Night Ride, Out of Time, Five Bells and Beach Burial.

Slessor in Night Ride talks about the journey of life, he talks of death as being slow, depressive and lonely. He says, "Soon I shall look out into nothing but blackness". This dark portrait of death is dark, fearful yet beautiful. In Out of Time, slessor again about death. He say's, "The gulls go down, the body dies and rots". This literal image of death which one can not talk of it as being beautiful, quite the opposite actually. In Beach Burial however he paints a soldiers death. Slessor says, "Enlisted on the other front". The reader envisions this as if their soldiers were doomed before the battle, the 'other front' which he talks of is of course the afterlife. Later in the poem he says, "The convoys of dead soldiers come". His use of the word convoy gives the audience a military type picture, but mental image is copious amounts of soldiers coming to their deaths.

His imagery of time too is very important in his poems. In Night Ride, he talks about time as being slow but fast at times. A train which the passengers are trying to catch up with is the metaphorical life journey. He says, " Rushing rivers of bush outside". These word paint a blurred vision of life which happens when time is moving quickly. In Out of Time, time is pictured as slow and painful. Slessor says, "Time flows like a hundred yachts" the average reader sees this as being slow because yachts do not come...

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