Slessor, known as one of the first truly Australian poets, began publishing his poetry in the 1920's in Vision. These early poems illustrated a stylistic movement from Australian bush poetry to a Nietzschean unrestrained joy in beauty and life. The early poems revealed an antimodernist, anti-intellectual paganism.
In his later works, Slessor applied technical innovations to Australian themes. He utilized unconventional rhyme, lyrical experiments, rich imagery, and dramatic techniques. His poetry vented verbal energy mollified by the use of irony. Though melancholy and disillusion were characteristic of Slessor's poetry, individualism and a zest for life were also prominent features. Slessor's favorite themes included time, the sea, and reflections on memory; his message was one of romantic renunciation.