The World Outside Time : Slessor’s Five Bells


'Five Bells' is admired for its imagery, emotional intensity, and the technical proficiency of its verse. The ideas expressed in it embarrass some critics and quite a few have been eager to use its apparent nihilistic conclusion to argue that Slessor wrote himself into an impasse and silence. These reasons, together with the common prejudice that Slessor is an intellectual lightweight, have meant that the ideas about Time, memory, and existence expressed in the poem have been given little consideration. The present study is an attempt to explore Slessor's view of man and his relationship with Time in 'Five Bells'.

The full text of this essay is available to ALS subscribers

Please sign in to access this article and the rest of our archive.

Published 1 October 1971 in Volume 5 No. 2. Subjects: Memory, Time, Kenneth Slessor.

Cite as: Croft, Julian. ‘The World Outside Time : Slessor’s Five Bells.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 5, no. 2, 1971, doi: 10.20314/als.57b01c3156.