beach burial - kenneth slessor

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AWARENESS OF NATIONAL IDENTITY ORAL EXAMINATION BEACH BURIAL KENNETH SLESSOR Softly and Humbly to the Gulf of Arabs,The convoys of dead sailors come; At night they sway and wander in the waters far under,But morning rolls them in the foam. Between the sob and clubbing of the gunfire Someone, it seems, has time for this,To pluck them from the shallows and bury them in burrows And tread the sand upon their nakedness;…

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…land for which they fought, joins them together in death, the reference to ‘enlisted on the other front is an eloquent metaphor for the sailors deaths. They are now enlisted into the world of the dead, just as they enlisted to join the navy. It is ironic that these men, so proud and patriotic of their national identity, have lost not only the record of which country they were serving but also their own identity.