Sleep Analysis

English – Sleep analysis

We as individuals experience the possessiveness of sleep every night and we feel helpless and soothed by it. We feel calm and relaxed by it but we can also feel a sense of sexual satisfaction from it. Kenneth Slessor’s poem “Sleep”, written in the 1920s, explores these themes and the theme of creating life/birth and conception. This poem illustrates the connection that we as humans have with procreation and with sleep, whether it is sexually, physically or spiritually. It also possesses an enduring quality, as the themes that are touched upon are relevant in the past and today.

The title “Sleep” adds meaning to the meaning of the poem as everybody interprets the words in different ways. It can be seen as the calming, soothing, physical type sleep, the sexual type sleep and the spiritual type sleep. We see that the poem addresses all 3 of these themes and it shows us the purpose and the positive side to life and illustrates to us the variety of different and special emotions that we as humans can experience in life.

While an individual may feel that the sexual idea of sleep is important, the spiritual and physical idea of sleep is equally essential.
Slessor presents a Christian interpretation through the concept of sleep and birth as it is illustrating the spiritual and physical connection that an individual has with it. The repetition and assonance of the word “body” in the quote “body or no-body” is used to illustrate this interpretation as it embraces the physical and non physical world, making it seem simple, child-like and utterly trustworthy. The sleeper must be able to trust the sleep. This Christian interpretation is also evident with the theme of procreation and childbirth through the extended metaphor “in the huge cave, my belly, love you” where the words “my belly” are portrayed as a source of life, but also as a vulnerable part of the body as it continues this image of a baby going through its journey of creation. This...