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"Beach Burial" Essay

505 words - 3 pages

The poem presents the poet's attitudes concerning war - the insignificance and unnecessary sacrifice - through the use of language, symbolism, imagery and rhyme.In the first stanza, every sound in the first line is soft and quiet. We do not expect the first words to be 'softly and humbly' as the title of the poem suggests the men at war. The knowledge of the poem comes in the second line, although still it does not give an easy understandment as convoys of dead sailors come. In the next line 'sway and wander' suggests life so it neutralises the impact of 'dead' in the second line. The final line of ...view middle of the document...

The second line is slow and allows time to think of the gunfire and the third line has a steadied rhythm with alliteration from 'bury' and 'burrows'. This may have an effect to the readers mind as the first line also emphasises with the letter 'b'. The impression we get is someone is dragging the dead soldiers and is burying them. In the last line of stanza two, the rhythm changes again to have a stamping sound.In the third stanza, the words 'cross', 'driven', 'tide wood' and 'stake' stand out clearly to describe this particular event. The second line then implements 'signature' the identify of yourself which will coincide with the next line as the third line means the lost of all traces of individual identity. The last line has the word 'choke' as it indirectly refers to the emotions of the person performing the last rite.The words 'unknown seamen' in the fourth stanza suggests no identity. The drowning of the dead sailors in the water with purple lips has had a loss of their traces as the water has made them lose their 'inscriptions' identity. The last line of this stanza is just a repetitive summary of what happened in this stanza.In the final stanza, Slessor describes to see the dead seamen as a group cancelling off foe and enemies, as they are all dead. They are all buried in the same burial and land as this stanza creates depressing images of what happened to men at war.

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