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Word Count: 1,260
AWARENESS OF NATIONAL IDENTITY ORAL EXAMINATION BEACH BURIAL KENNETH SLESSOR Softly and Humbly to the Gulf of ArabsThe convoys of dead sailors come At night they sway and wander in the waters far underBut morning rolls them in the foam Between the sob and clubbing of the gunfire Someone it seems has time for thisTo pluck them from the shallows and bury them in burrows And tread the sand upon their nakednessAnd each cross the driven stake of tidewoodBears the last signature of menWritten with such perplexity with such bewildered pityThe words choke as they begin Unknown seaman the ghostly pencil Wavers and fades the purple drips The breath of the wet season has washed their inscriptions As blue as drowned mens lips Dead seamen gone in search of the same landfallWhether as enemies they fought Or fought with us or neither the sand joins them togetherEnlisted on the other front El Alamein Although not blatantly obvious at first Kenneth Slessors emotive and poignant poem Beach burial is a poem concerned with raising the awareness of national identity Now I found this hard to believe at first For me to be able to use this poem as it has been my one of my favourites for years I though that for it to have ANYTHING to do with national identity I would have had to use my creative ability to dissect and warp aspects of the poem that COULD have something to do with national identity if the poet had actually CHOSEN to write about national identity Basically a lot of windbagging- and as much I was looking forward to see how great my powers of persuasion were I finally realised that they wouldnt be necessary I realised that even though Slessors Beach Burial doesnt ramble on about the Australian lifestyles and the Australian landscapes It is a poem solely based on the importance of national identity heck- it doesnt even mention
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