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A Comparison of "Limbo" with "Nothing's Changed".

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Introduction

A Comparison of "Limbo" with "Nothing's Changed" The poems "Limbo" and "Nothing's Changed" have a lot in common if you look past the actual words into the meaning of the poems, you will see they both originate from the same theme; racism. "Limbo" tells the story of the Limbo dance and the joy of performing it. The poem is telling the story of a slave travelling from Africa to the West Indies in a slave ship. On the long journey, the slaves invented a dance called the Limbo dance which kept them fit and healthy so they could survive the journey. The dance involved walking underneath a stick only bending your knees; the stick started off low down then gradually went up every time you went underneath it without touching the stick. "Nothing's Changed" is a poem based on the segregation of white people and black people in Cape Town, South Africa. In 1940, apartheid was gripping over South Africa, the rich white people earned 12 times as much as the black people. ...read more.

Middle

In the same respect of using hard sound words, both poems portray a bleak picture of the locations where these two Africans spent their time. The setting of the ship in "Limbo" is a big dark boat in which resides evil, it does not portray a place where you would like to be. The setting in "Nothing's Changed" is different from the ship because it does not sound all that bad; it sounds like a nice place however there is the underlying segregation that makes the reader feel hatred for the place. The poet shows us the area then he shows us the people that live in the area and that is what turns the reader around. Also, the way the scene is set in "Nothing's Changed" does not motivate people to pack their stuff and hop on the next plane, the harsh words and attention to detail like "amiable weeds", and "it squats, in the grass and weeds" do not exactly make it sound like a dream come true. ...read more.

Conclusion

Meanwhile in "Nothing's Changed", the poet has made no obvious attempt to lay it out in a particular form other than stanzas arranged like paragraphs. I believe that the poet does not need to amplify his point with the layout but merely express himself with words. The major difference between the two poems though is the punctuation, in "Limbo" there is none but in "Nothing's Changed" there is quite a lot. The abundance of punctuation in "Nothing's Changed" shows that the poem was written for the fact of being read like a poem; unlike "Limbo" with no punctuation but a steady rhythm, it indicates it is like a song. The use of punctuation is clever because it forces the reader to read with a slower place and thus creating the effect of a hateful and despairing tone. The two poems are based on the same theme with some minor differences in the language and settings but both poets feel strongly on anti-racism but go their different ways about it. "Limbo" and "Nothing's Changed" are the same in view but are completely opposite in the way they go about repairing it; one says acceptance while the other has a mind for war! ...read more.

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