Comparative Essay : Poem Analysis, Beach Burial and Homecoming

Bruce Dawe and Kenneth Slessor are two war poets. They both see war as a fruitless waste of potential. Daw and Slessor both use vivid imagery to relate to the reader how dehumanizing war is. They also use this technique to show the horror and grief of war. Both poems have a rhythm that evokes various images and emotions. Other poetic and language techniques further enhance the poems central ideas, that war is a waste of potential; it brings grief to humanity and is pointless.
Visual imagery is the use of language to paint a picture in the minds of the audience. Kenneth Slessor effectively uses this technique in various instances to portray the horrors of war. An example of this is “As blue as drown man’s lips.” This image of a dead man’s lips is alarming and ghastly and when Slessor uses it as a simile for the inscriptions on the graves of the seamen, he reflects the horror of their death. He uses this to relate to the audience his own horror at the idea of war and how it is a waste of human potential. Another example of imagery used in the text is “they sway and wander in the waters far under.” This is an image of floating bodies that have no particular direction and no purpose. This is Slessor’s way of showing the reader that war is a mindless game, the soldiers fighting in it have no goals no direction, no true purpose. They are like the dead bodies floating around the only movement they make controlled by the waves (government or authorities).
In Homecoming Bruce Dawe also uses visual imagery to portray his ideas and the poems meaning. He does this to show how war dehumanizes the soldiers, leaving them without dignity. An example of this is in the third line “piled on the hulls of grant, in trucks, in convoys.” The image most of us associate with the idea of something pilled on a truck is that of something inanimate and lifeless stacked up “in trucks.” Dawe uses these word in particular to show the reader how dead soldiers are not honoured but dehumanized and...