Welcome to Saxon Cooks vodcast, today, NESA has funded me to host an educational video for all HSC students to understand some of Kenneth Slessors poems. Throughout this video, i will critically analyse TWO Slessor poems and ONE chosen related text. Hopefully, this will uncover any hidden messages or meanings that may challenge the readers opinions about the world. Lets get into it ?
(Poem 1 Out of time)
Out of time, written in 1938 was one of Kenneth Slessor’s last poems to be written. However, In the poem, the poet initially presents and develops their observation, argument or question through structure, media and language forms between lines 9-12. In the vast examples, Slessor echoed such literary ideas and motifs to further convey the human experience, fused with the flow of water to better convey the ceaseless flow of time.
The opening of sonnet 1 affirms that the first sonnet is retrospective, recalling memories of what the poet saw and thought about the passage of time which is described using present continuous tense. Slessor also uses the rhyme scheme a b a b c d c d e f e f g g to address a flow of explanation for each sonnet. This allows Slessor to discuss time as having an almost mythic reality that sweeps past all humanity like the ceaseless flow of the sea and tides.
So water bends the seaweeds in the sea,
The tide goes over, but the weeds remain.
From this quote, we can identify the use of a metaphor. Although the seaweeds have resilience to tidal movement, the passage of time leaves only weeds. This highlights the way that humanity uses their time, as time itself cannot be stopped.
Sonnet 2 of the poem is personified eagerly, continuing its passage to line 8.
Birth to be flesh, or funeral, to be ghost.
Time must continue its forward march. Humanity is inevitable to death. Agony is ensured through the techniques oxymoron and imagery. This is universally understood as, birth or funeral and flesh and ghost. This is Slessors view of the human experience, as for life as we know it, has only a beginning and end. Therefore, it is what shall be completed or experienced in the duration of a lifespan, is time well spent. To demonstrate this, through the use of dramatic metaphors, the poem Out of time, challenges the audiences view on the world by comparing water flow through seaweed to time overcoming humanity. Slessor uses significance by capitalising time as flowing and thrusting as something that is beyond mans control. Thus, concluding a moment of epiphany of insight, understanding the perception, are what readers are able to identify with.
(Related text (THE ORDER OF TIME Book) )
Continuing on from the poem Out of time, comes the chosen related text, The Order of Time. The novel written by Carlo Rovelli, teaches all aspects about time and how it can change in multiple circumstances. This is evident in the quote,
Time is elastic in our personal experience of it. Hours fly by like minutes, and minutes are oppressively slow, as if they were centuries. pg 52 chapter 4
The use of similes and descriptive imagery allows for the reader to picture memories of past events where they themselves have encountered the truth behind time. This connection of time and realisation, opens a gateway for the audience to understand how precious time and memories are.
(Poem 2 WILD GRAPES)
The second Slessor poem, Wild Grapes has been explored to how time ravages memory. This can relate to the book The Order of Time stating that hours fly by like minutes. The poem Wild Grapes represents events that take place come and go with devastating effects to families and even nature. Kenneth Slessor has created ideas of the human experience through structure of the poem by creating a soft rhyming scheme (a a b c a) in order to highlight a style that reads like a memory. It was in the 3rd stanza where the use of language forms was captured to express the ravaging of memory.
Eating their flesh, half-savaged with black fur
Using animalistic imagery, represents a negative and gruesome tone towards the particular event/memory that Slessors has experienced. The term Half-savaged and eating flesh is used to show the comparison to a dying brain. The effect that time has on life. In doing so, the use of a personal pronoun is used to portray the death of a girl, compared to precious grapes on a farm, this is shown in the quote:
Isabella, the dead girl, who has lingered on.
Having this comparison represents the connection that the rotten grapes is devastating, as a young girl passing away. In doing so, this stanza invites the responder to see the world differently, due to Slessors way of conducting the human experience into a story of Wild Grapes and memory destruction. I’m sure we can all now establish how much we should take memory for granted.
(Related text (THE ORDER OF TIME Book) )
Carrying on from Wild Grapes, comes a quote from the book The Order of Time, from one of the most famous inventors. Isaac Newton. He states: There is a time that passes even when nothing changes. Pg 59. Newton interpretes time as a continuous flow, when even everything may be still. This relates to Wild Grapes, as the crops began to die or when Isabella has lingered on. This may perceive as a scary thought, knowing that time does not stop or slow down for anyone. WOW, these messages certainly impact the way i perceive the world. How about you? I suggest to take ownership of your time and live every moment to the fullest. Cause we never know when we are out of time.
Well this looks like you made it to the end of the video, hopefully as a viewer, you have learnt new ways to interpret poetry into challenging your perspective of the world.
Make sure to like, subscribe and i’ll catch ya in the next one. Peace.