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Robert Gray Late Ferry Essay Writing

The Poem

In this poem, the plodding passage of an old-fashioned wooden ferry, as it’s moving across Sydney Harbour, late at night, is conveyed through the expressive use of a seemingly-arbitrary  four-line stanza (or ‘quatrain’). This stanza is used to break open a sentence and spread it across a verse-space, like a vista, or it can slow down, with its tight lines, the progress of the description.

The tactics of other art-forms are drawn on here. In the first stanza, we read that the ferry ‘goes up onto/ the huge dark harbour,’ which is reminiscent of the way, in a naive or ‘primitive’ painting, things are often shown as distant by being depicted higher up on the painting’s surface. This ‘innocence’ permeates the poem. There is also a cinematic technique in ‘Late Ferry’– the boat’s fairly brief journey is given in a series of filmic ‘takes’, cut and montaged together, as in the editing of a film.

The poem is seen from the foreshores of Sydney Harbour, at Lavender Bay, a little ‘upstream’ from the Harbour Bridge and Luna Park. The ferry is moving diagonally across the Harbour, into the light of the city and Circular Quay. This is the viewpoint of many paintings, set in daylight, by the artist Brett Whiteley.

The poem speaks of a ‘tuberous// shaped bay’, meaning a bay that is like a socket (in the shoreline of the Harbour) from which a tuber, a potato, has been pulled. Plain nature, in which the artist has to make his stand, is not always as glamorous as it ends up being in his depiction of it.

The poem also speaks of the Harbour Bridge as lit-up, its lights ‘swarming’ on the water below, and of the water as spangled like a ‘Busby Berkeley spectacular’. At the time the poem was written, the Bridge was fully lit at night, but that is no longer done. Busby Berkeley was a Hollywood film director who boasted ‘a cast of thousands’ in his all-girl chorus line-ups, his tap-dancing black and white films, like ‘Gold Diggers of 1933’ and ‘Babes on Broadway’ (1941).

The ending of the poem depends on a pun. The last line, ‘filled as it is with its yellow light,’ means the windows of the ferry are filled with their old-fashioned, warm light, as the cells of a honeycomb are filled with honey, and it also means that the speaker is himself filled with this light – with a visual pleasure that is like sweetness. (Such an image is called synaesthesia, the combining of the experience of one sense with that of another – as, for instance, in our literally experiencing a sound as green, which some people are naturally able to do.)

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'Poetic Language is used to Capture Human Experiences;

`In Robert Gray’s poems, he uses language to capture human experiences. In two of his poems; old house and late ferry, gray has effectively captured human experiences by his varies poetic languages and through insight and feeling. Throughout both texts late ferry and old house, gray’s main message in the poems, with his critical analysis, is the destruction of nature by mankind.
In old house, gray has captured the human experience of the process of death. He does this through insight and he effectively conveys this with poetic language such as the use of metaphor. This is the title itself ‘ old house’. The title doesn’t literally mean an old…show more content…

In the poem late ferry, gray expresses his feeling to capture human experiences. An example of this would be his repetition of the word ‘dark’. He uses this to emphasis his feeling of uncertainty; of unknowing what it would be like to go to another area, with a totally different lifestyle, to a more fast paced society. Dark is also symbolic for death, and in late ferry, Gray conveys death as a loss of innocence of when he leaves his home.
Another insight which gray conveys in old house to capture a human experience is the symbolism of the yacht. As all humans know, a yacht floats on water; there are certain destinations that it will reach. In old house, gray captures the process of death as the flow of a yacht, as this symbolises the flow, it also symbolises how a yacht may not always flow peacefully, and in this text, the death may not always be calm. Although this may happen, gray portrays the death to be gentle on the yacht.
Another insight that gray expresses in late ferry to capture human experiences is the symbolism of redness. The symbolism of the colour redness, in the concept which gray has referred to as a symbolic word, he was trying to emphasis danger, anger, devil and temptation. Although red is also a colour of love, in this poem, Gray used this symbol because it can also easily capture a human’s

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