Kenneth Slessor was an Australian poet and war correspondent who wrote Beach Burial, Slessor sailed for Britain in May. This influenced him to write poems about the horrific war stories that he had seen while being in many countries overseas. Beach Burial is a 5 stanza poem the goes in depth of the Burial in North Africa. Beach burial by Kenneth Slessor
Beach Burial is able to be a lament poem with the use of the ‘convoy of dead sailors’ and the focus on an individual ‘unknown seaman’, this gives the poem power as it clearly shows the lack of ceremony at their burial. This idea interests me because in our society today, death is given huge respect and a large amount of the ceremony goes into someone’s burial. I also think that everyone deserves a burial no matter if there was no time or no space In the poem soldiers go off to war in North Africa at El Alamein and gradually soldier become unknown sea men. Kenneth Slessor makes this powerful message using figurative language such as the onomatopoeia which brings the horrendous conditions to life, this is done with “sob and clubbing of gunfire”, this exaggerates the poem, because he uses everyday things into the sound of gunfire and the grief that comes after it. In the third stanza, Slessor use somewhat of a metaphor with driven stake of tide wood, in order for us to see that the soldiers who fought for our country are merely like a piece of drift wood in the sea. This shows how the soldiers were treated in when they died at war. As there was no place for them so they dropped the brave service men in the water with “bewildered pity and they lose their identity. This brings a message to everyday life now as to this day we still honour people that fought at war and died for our country and that we should still honour the people that fight wars now to this day and what they do to keep us safe, out of harm’s way. This also suggests that the dead soldiers in 1940 should have got proper burial rather than dropping them of a ship and someone quickly “burring them in shallow burrows.