Kenneth Slessor wrote the poem Beach Burial whilst staying in El Alamein as the official Australian War correspondent in the middle east
Kenneth Slessor wrote the poem Beach Burial whilst staying in El Alamein as the official Australian War correspondent in the middle east. Due to his occupation in war, Kenneth Slessor learnt about the realities and horrors of war. Beach Burial emphasises on his observations on war and realistically what happens to a soldier when they die on the battlefield.
Kenneth Slessor has used rhyme in his poem to create an emotional reaction to the readers. He has done this by using an ABCB pattern. The use of Half Rhymes creates a standstill where it allows readers to stop and reflect on the realities of war and how dreadful the scene of dead men must be. This statement works well with the lines in the first stanza “…the convoys of dead sailors come…but morning rolls them in the foam”. This line implements half rhyme of come and foam which makes the reader envision dead bodies washed up on the shore
His use of personification in the second stanza “…the sob and clubbing of the gunfire” is as if the gunfire is crying and indicates how loud and deafening the gunfire would be. Another use of personification is shown in the fourth stanza “…the breath of the wet season…”. By giving inanimate objects human qualities, it creates life and connects the reader with the poem.
By using a melancholy tone, Kenneth Slessor created a sense of sadness and sympathy for the lifeless bodies washed up a shore. With his strong imagery, Slessor pointed out the memory of men being buried with no identity. “Unknown Seaman- the ghostly pencil… the purple drips” This line in the fourth stanza
Through Slessor’s experience of war, he created the masterpiece ‘Beach Burial’ a tribute to the Australian soldiers that fought in world war 2