Kenneth Slessor

Slessor effectively shapes a distinctively three dimensional portrait of William St by bringing together visual imagery and olfactory senses. The 4 stanzas each present distinctively visual and sensory experience for the reader. The image of an urbanised Australia is shown in the Stanza’s when it mentions “the red globes of light”. The personification in these 2 lines helps to emphasise the brightness and size of these neon lights said to be “pulsing” and “running” giving the idea that these lights are spread throughout the whole city, lighting everything up. The bright neon signs found in large urbanised cities, thus the image of a distinctively urbanised Australia is presented.

The second stanza presents a distinctively visual image of a low class Australia. The simile, “ghost’s trousers like the dangle of hung me” show how the trousers are hung from walls in pawn shops suggesting that the people were so desperate for money that they were selling off even their clothes in order to get money.

In the 3rd stanza Slessor underpins the distinctively visual imagery through the use of alliteration, “rich and rasping”, “fat and fish”. Hiss from the frying onions through onomatepia allows the reader to be enveloped by the myriad of sounds and smells surrounding the distinctively visual images throughout the entire street and miles beyond.

In the final stanza through the use of distinctive Australia colloquialism, “dips and molls” portrays the sordid images of prostitutes and alcoholics, often associated with sleaziness, selling themselves for whatever little money they can get.
The personification of death and hunger, “death at their elbows, hunger at their heels” further paints an image of the precarious nature of the existence, they are figuratively visualised as prey trying to out run merciless predators.

Slessor renders a unique vision of a street that is dirty, not pretty. He fuses the stanzas through the repetition of “you find this ugly, I find it...