Introduction

Kenneth Slessor, held by many to be Australia's finest poet, was a successful journalist, and for a time (a time which Slessor described as 'frustrating') was Australia's Official War Correspondent in the UK, Greece, the Middle East and New Guinea.  As well as being a classic, romantic poet, he was also an engaging companion, a bon viveur, and a man prone to stormy relationships with the women in this life.

Dutton, G, 1991, Kenneth Slessor, Penguin Books Australia, Ringwood, Victoria

 

 

 

I looked out of my window in the dark

At waves with diamond quills and combs and combs of light

That arched their mackerel-backs and smacked the sand

In the moon's drench, that straight enormous glaze,

And ships far off asleep, and Harbour-buoys

Tossing their fireballs wearily each to each,

And tried to hear your voice, but all I heard

Was a boat's whistle, and the scraping squeal

Of seabirds' voices far away, and bells,

Five bells, Five bells coldly ringing out.

                           Five Bells , 1939