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Comparing Ogun to Charlotte O'Neil's Song.

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Comparing Ogun to Charlotte O'Neil's Song The aim of this essay is to explore the two poems Ogun and Charlotte O'Neil's song. In the poem Ogun the poet Edward Kamau Brathwaite tells the reader about an uncle who makes hand made furniture. The uncle has many ailments but is still a very skilled wood worker. The poem shows a lot of admiration towards the uncle and anger at the way the world has stopped buying his furniture in favour of cheaper lower quality goods, thus making the uncle almost unemployed, forcing him to be poor so that he can not have his illnesses cured. The poet creates an image of pity for the terrible effects the neglect and poverty has had on his uncle. The poem gives the impression that although the poet and reader feels or should feel sympathy towards the uncle, they can not really do anything about it, causing a feeling of frustration and helplessness. In the poem Charlotte O'Neil's song Fiona Farrell obviously sympathises with the servant's lives, as it is written from the main character, Charlotte O'Neil's perspective. ...read more.


The rhyme pattern of the first stanza is that of a limerick, which is a kind of poem quite popular with children as it is quite easy to make an effective limerick. This gives the impression that Charlotte O'Neil is quite young and that she may not be very well educated. This could also show that she may have missed her childhood as she started very young as a slave girl. In the poem Ogun, Edward Kamau Brathwaite uses a lot of sensual imagery to bring the scene of the workshop to life: The reader 'hears' the 'quick sandpaper' and the 'blasts of heavy hammer', and sees the 'intersecting x of folding chairs', feels the 'smoothing', of the 'white wood.' Other language that Brathwaite uses makes the reader aware that the uncle's work is hard, painful at times. He has almost become like the pieces of furniture he has made. The poet uses internal half-rhymes and alliteration to make the lines feel, thick, physical, like the work. For example: The knuckles of his hands were sil-/ vered knobs of nails hit, hurt and flat-/ tened out with blast of heavy hammer.' ...read more.


It also shows that medical problems are harder to cure in other countries due to lack of medical expertise and equipment as well as lack of money. As well as this the poem also shows that in some cultures it is an increasing problem that forests and other natural habitats are being destroyed. This is a parallel to the economy of their country which is also being destroyed both due to the habitats being destroyed and also the mechanisation and automation of other countries. In Charlotte O'Neil's Song it shows the reader how hard the lives of the servants were, little better than prisoners or slaves, doing the lowliest work, at the beck and call of their masters. The poem contrasts the working girl with the idle employer, and shows the injustice of a system that split the rich and the poor into master and servant. Both of these poems are well written and are a good insight into other cultures. Word count = 966 Sam Allen English 10T 10LJG Poetry from other Cultures 09/05/07 ...read more.

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