Notes on Kenneth Slessor’s – Country Towns
· Addresses the country towns - is generalising and universalising the country town
· Willows and pepper trees withstand drought - squares: village squares near shops; where fairs are held
· Bouncing on barrel mares' - fat sturdy little horse; we can hear the trot of the horse coming to the pub. The farmers still ride in on horses - nothing has changed in this town
· Public House - hotel; yellow wood shows age; deliberately uses old terminology to show it is old in Australian terms (and fits into the rhythm of the line!). Note the vivid imagery built up of the town from these first few lines.
· General Store - an everything shop designed originally to simply serve the need of the community. Hogan is an Irish surname - many early migrants to Aus. were Irish, and always seemed to own General Stores. (mysterious - why did they always seem to own General Stores?)
· First Stanza Note: Note rhyme scheme, strong rhythm, one single sentence, then drifts off as poet's gaze drifts off - establishes sleepy, laid back atmosphere.
· School of Arts - another major public building, where concerts etc were held. The reference emphasises how small the place is; its rural isolation.
· Broadsheet - a poster has fallen off the wall, sprayed with the sarcasm of flies: it has fly poo on it, sending up the family somewhat. Note use of colon - makes us pause to consider this sarcasm. lies is a pun; it lies on the floor, but also tells a lie about the performance "To-night" (ie it will not be).
· Note capital letters and inverted commas to quote from poster, and the dash at the end of the 4th line which makes us pause to consider what has been said, and see that the broadsheet does lie; makes us see the amusing side to it.
· carelessness - without care, emphasises relaxation and sleepiness of town; the town doesn't want to offend anyone by taking down their posters.
· Note plural forms of nouns (verandas, faces, dogs etc) - these universalise; no names or personalities.
· baked - hot, invokes a smell of heat like from oven;...