Memorable Idea in Kenneth Slessor’s Poetry

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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 burrows’. This quote shows that the soldiers get buried in quick-made graves. But it also plays an important part in displaying-by-word, the concept of memorable ideas to the readers. The repetition of the ‘b’ sound in ‘sob’ and ‘clubbing’ makes people think about war because you can feel the violence in ‘sob’ and ‘clubbing’ of gunfire.

This is further elaborated with the second part of the quote: ‘To pluck them from the shallows and bury them in burrows’.In the word ‘shallows’ you can sense the watery, sea-like understanding Slessor has given. ‘Burrows’ makes the reader co notate with the ground, a tight, dark space, which produces the concept of memorable ideas. ‘As blue as drowned men’s lips’. This quote refers to the names of the seamen and how they are wiped away.

Blue can be seen as a deathly colour and this suggests that their identity is as gone as dead, drowned men. A simile is used in this and it gives the audience a sad image about anyone who had died, thus producing the concept of memorable ideas in the poets’ works.To conclude, the concept of memorable ideas is present in Kenneth Slessor’s poetry and can be seen through the themes of both his poems “Out of Time” and “Beach Burial”. Poetic techniques have also been used in quotes to show the audience how memorable ideas have been made to make the reader think about the poets’ works.

But memorable ideas are also present to the reader because Slessor’s poetic ideas are universally know. These could be time and war, as in “Out of Time” and “Beach Burial”.

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