Kenneth Slessor

An inherent tension between stability and change is revealed through recurring images in Slessor’s poetry. To what extent does your interpretation of Slessor’s Out of Time and at least one other poem align with this view? In your response, make detailed reference to Out of Time and at least ONE other poem set for study

Kenneth Slessor is undoubtedly one of the greatest Australian poets of all time. Slessor   presents the ideas of tension between stability and change through his exploration of suspended time, and this relationship to death and the finality of death. These ideas are demonstrated throughout his renowned poetry, especially in Out of Time, Sleep and Five Bells. In these poems, Slessor provides the reader with an insight into his prominent thematic concern of time’s passage and its inevitable passage towards death. Slessor also explores the effects of memories and their ability to transcend time, whilst humankind cannot. These concepts are thoroughly presented in an engaging way through his poetic treatment, manipulating imagery and his unique structure in his poems.

Slessor explore time’s inevitable passage through his poems ‘Out of Time’, ‘Five Bells’ and ‘Sleep’. Slessor employes the structure of his poem ‘Out of Time’ to explore the notions of time. ‘Out of Time’ is composed of three sonnets, which form a corona as each last line relates to the first line. The sonnets represent the ever decreasing components of time, each octet represents an hour, the quatrain a minute and the couplet a second. This can be seen as a deliberate attempt by Slessor to reflect the cyclical and constant nature of time. In ‘Out of Time; Slessor utilises the tone of the first sonnet to express the persona's anxiety and anguish towards time, ‘Or time, the bony knife, it runs me through’. This tone establishes the persona's terror of time passing by too fast and by personifying time as the ‘bony knife’ conveys time’s ability to bring end to human life. The...