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Best Famous Kenneth Slessor Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Kenneth Slessor poems. This is a select list of the best famous Kenneth Slessor poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Kenneth Slessor poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Kenneth Slessor poems.

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Written by Kenneth Slessor |

North Country

 North Country, filled with gesturing wood, 
With trees that fence, like archers' volleys, 
The flanks of hidden valleys 
Where nothing's left to hide 

But verticals and perpendiculars, 
Like rain gone wooden, fixed in falling, 
Or fingers blindly feeling 
For what nobody cares; 

Or trunks of pewter, bangled by greedy death, 
Stuck with black staghorns, quietly sucking, 
And trees whose boughs go seeking, 
And tress like broken teeth 

With smoky antlers broken in the sky; 
Or trunks that lie grotesquely rigid, 
Like bodies blank and wretched 
After a fool's battue, 

As if they've secret ways of dying here 
And secret places for their anguish 
When boughs at last relinquish 
Their clench of blowing air 

But this gaunt country, filled with mills and saws, 
With butter-works and railway-stations 
And public institutions, 
And scornful rumps of cows, 

North Country, filled with gesturing wood– 
Timber's the end it gives to branches, 
Cut off in cubic inches, 
Dripping red with blood.

Written by Kenneth Slessor |


 These black bush-waters, heavy with crusted boughs 
Like plumes above dead captains, wake the mind.
Uncounted kissing, unremembered vows, Nights long forgotten, moons too dark to find, Or stars too cold.
all quick things that have fled Whilst these old bubbles uprise in older stone, Return like pale dead faces of children dead, Staring unfelt through doors for ever unknown.
O silent ones that drink these timeless pools, Eternal brothers, bending so deeply over, Your branches tremble above my tears again.
And even my songs are stolen from some old lover Who cried beneath your leaves like other fools, While still they whisper "in vain.
in vain.
in vain.

Written by Kenneth Slessor |

William Street

 The red globe of light, the liquor green, 
the pulsing arrows and the running fire 
spilt on the stones, go deeper than a stream; 
You find this ugly, I find it lovely 

Ghosts' trousers, like the dangle of hung men, 
in pawn-shop windows, bumping knee by knee, 
but none inside to suffer or condemn; 
You find this ugly, I find it lovely.
Smells rich and rasping, smoke and fat and fish and puffs of paraffin that crimp the nose, of grease that blesses onions with a hiss; You find it ugly, I find it lovely.
The dips and molls, with flip and shiny gaze (death at their elbows, hunger at their heels) Ranging the pavements of their pasturage; You Find this ugly, I find it lovely .

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Written by Kenneth Slessor |

South Country

 After the whey-faced anonymity 
Of river-gums and scribbly-gums and bush, 
After the rubbing and the hit of brush, 
You come to the South Country 
As if the argument of trees were done, 
The doubts and quarrelling, the plots and pains, 
All ended by these clear and gliding planes 
Like an abrupt solution.
And over the flat earth of empty farms The monstrous continent of air floats back Coloured with rotting sunlight and the black, Bruised flesh of thunderstorms: Air arched, enormous, pounding the bony ridge, Ditches and hutches, with a drench of light, So huge, from such infinities of height, You walk on the sky's beach While even the dwindled hills are small and bare, As if, rebellious, buried, pitiful, Something below pushed up a knob of skull, Feeling its way to air.

Written by Kenneth Slessor |

Thief of the Moon

 Thief of the moon, thou robber of old delight, 
Thy charms have stolen the star-gold, quenched the moon- 
Cold, cold are the birds that, bubbling out of night, 
Cried once to my ears their unremembered tune- 
Dark are those orchards, their leaves no longer shine, 
No orange's gold is globed like moonrise there- 
O thief of the earth's old loveliness, once mine, 
Why dost thou waste all beauty to make thee fair? 

Break, break thy strings, thou lutanists of earth, 
Thy musics touch me not-let midnight cover 
With pitchy seas those leaves of orange and lime, 
I'll not repent.
The world's no longer worth One smile from thee, dear pirate of place and time, Thief of old loves that haunted once thy lover!