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Word Count: 601
Beach Burial by Kenneth Slessor Similar in theme and tone to Bruce Dawes Homecoming Kenneth Slessors Beach Burial describes the burial process during war and allows the reader to compare how vastly different this process is to a burial during peace time The poem presents the poets attitudes concerning war the insignificance and unnecessary sacrifice - through the use of language symbolism imagery and rhyme In the first stanza Slessor explains how the bodies of many dead seamen have been helplessly floating around in the water before rolling into the shore He effectively uses part-rhyme come and foam under and wander Sound repetition is also used in the opening stanza as it is again continuously throughout the poem gunfire and under come and humbly These word combinations add to the sombre tone of the introductory stanza by making the stanza flow smoothly as opposed to harshly and disjointedly Softly and humbly to the Gulf of Arabs The convoys of dead sailors come The term humbly is applied to the dead soldiers representing how delicate They no longer have their strength or honour and self-respect Despite any ideals they may have held or sacrifices they were willing to make for their country they have ultimately been humbled Meanwhile come does not refer to the dead soldiers but the sea which makes the dead soldiers come These convoys of dead soldiers do not come voluntarily or actively the sea brings them This adds to the image of the soldiers being humbled they no longer have their pride and individuality the power to chose their own destiny The 2nd and 3rd stanzas go on to explain the mass burials of soldiers no longer individuals or enemies fighting one another Nothing can distinguish one man from another as they are buried beneath sand upon their nakedness Being naked is symbolic the men have been stripped of their uniqueness and nothing can
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