Wednesday, January 29, 2020
A Comparison Between Two Complementary Poems Essay Example for Free
A Comparison Between Two Complementary Poems Essay The two complementary poems Old Father and Island Man are based on the subject of two diverse men who are coping with an experience of migrating to another country. In this coursework we will discuss these poems, then compare, and contrast their theme and language. Hugh Boatswains Old Father appeared in an anthology called Writing in 1978. Boatswains work speaks to the condition of the racial tensions in the 70s and engages, in sparse poetic form, in much of the cultural analysis. Boatswains poems demonstrate the importance of creativity, cultural transaction, and transition in the historicizing of West Indian migration and settlement in Britain. The poet has used a narrative description in the poem to portray his views and thoughts to the members of the audience. The poem relates to a series of events of old father in a chronological order of his life. The poem depicts the livelihood and culture of a person from a distant atmosphere and surrounding who goes through a lot of hardships in the beginning due to the unknown environment. The poet has then given a brief sketch of his adaptation to the society and how he changes to accept those adaptations. The poem creates a depressing feeling in our hearts as the poet describes how old father forgets his culture and roots by his behaviour. The poet has described his views in rather an ambiguous way; no information obtained by us can be strongly evident. It tells the story of an old or older figure in the black community, how old is not known but can be presumed to the mid thirties or more. The title Old Father depicts a personage of high value, a person who would hold up and support the beliefs and values of the society. The title describes a man of experience, ingenuity, and responsibility. In the beginning of his shift to England the Caribbean man craved to return to his homeland. The poet then discusses how old father bought a turning point in his life and started changing his lifestyle to get more accepted in the society. This is indicated by the words Old Father feet begin to shift. His roots have no meaning now (Line No. 10 and 11). This is also an example of one of many metaphors in the poems, i.e. his feet are not actually shifting but his attitude is changing and he is accepting his situation in the society and is trying to improve it. In this process he is leaving nothing out, to the extent that he is ready to change his values, beliefs and ethical values to receive acceptance. He then discusses about old fathers personal and love life, he also brings up the point of how he changes his attitude towards his own friends of his race. Boatswain has added a variety of characters to the poem. Even though the vagueness of details of the character we can say that Old Father was undignified to an extent. From the following line Bouncing down the road with a blonde (Line No. 17) we can presume his indecency, as walking with a blonde is considered inappropriate due to the negative image they have created in the society. The whole image is cojourned by the term blonde relieving his change in attitude and lifestyle to be considered indecorous. The poet has chosen his words very particularly and has also considered the arrangement of these words. He has used a varied range of figures of speech like metonymy and personifications but has highly considered the use of metaphors. These figures of speech and choice of worlds create a rhythmatic design; this maintains the reader with an interested attitude. A lot of attention is given to the use of punctuations. Boatswains way of describing and explaining imagery is noteworthy. For example Cold bite him hard (Line No.2), this shows how painful the weather is to this Caribbean man in the beginning of his arrival. We can see how Boatswains use of language is very descriptive but concise and effective. The other poem Island Man is a piece of poetry written by Grace Nichols. She was born in Guyana and came to Britain in 1977. She writes this poem in context to a Caribbean man who has settled in London but still wakes up to the sound of the sea and the tranquillity of his native island. Island Man consists of a wide range of sounds and images to express the Caribbean mans feelings and thinking. For example the sound of the blue surf and the steady breaking and wombing (Line No.3 and 5) are good examples of his use of language and images for the description of his feelings. This poem is also told in a narrative manner but unlike Old Father the poem is more spontaneous. The poem is bought out in the form of a dream. A number of images are described to show how he imagined himself in his native island where there was no hindrance or disturbance but peace and tranquillity, whereas the atmosphere in London was completely contradictory to his dream. Therefore when he wakes up and enters the world of reality where he is back in London and hears the roar of the cars and screeches of the wheels instead of the sound of the sea he just says Another London day (Line No. 19). He probably says this as he has been living in London since a long time and is now frustrated with his usual rut and wants to get out of it and return to his paradise like island. His attitude towards this new environment is not so enthusiastic. This is indicated by the words groggily groggily (Line No. 11). He has already seen the usual busy days of London and has accepted them in his life and has acknowledged this new surrounding. But a sense of frustration has aroused and his crave for his native island just became greater than before. Both the poems hold a lot of similarity of cultures and attitudes towards the new migration. Both of them share unhappiness in this new environment of theirs. Both of them also discuss the bitter weather. But old father moves on in his life whereas in Island Man we will notice that there is not much of progression in the story. It is just a dream whereas the whole life of old father is discussed in the other poem. Hence a lot of contradictions are in the poem. Also the language and use of punctuations is very different. In Old Father punctuations are given a lot of importance and are very proper whereas in Island Man the poem consists of no punctuations at all. It forms more of a spontaneous attitude and also considers the lazy morning attitude of a person. Therefore as this is a dream the poet has very well described this quality and has also set a sense of spontaneous feelings and emotions. He is an example to his people (Line 41, Old Father), these were the words used to describe old father and his behaviour. It is the opinion of a white English racist person. This opinion can be adapted in two contradictory perceptions. The white people may say it in the context that every person from another country, another culture should act like him. They should also adopt the behaviour and culture of the country they live in. The contradictory statement to this would be that the white people are saying that he was a person who was ready to change for his benefit of himself and in the end of the day for h is own betterment he would forget his friends. Hence they jump to the conclusion that he is just an example of those people who are of his culture and each would do anything for their own personal benefits forgetting their personal beliefs and culture. In the end I would conclude saying that both the poems state a moral towards us. In Old Father we can say that a man should adapt towards his surrounding but that does not mean we should forget who we are, what is our identity. Whereas in Island Man we can see that a man has come to another country but still has not let go of the memories of his own countries and hence is not able to move on and adapt the good qualities of the country he is living with. Hence we should learn from this poem that thinking about our past and not moving on would just lead to frustration and everything would go wrong. Hence we should keep up the pace in life and never look back and ponder.