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Compare and contrast these two poems, explaining their effect on you:‘Windjammer’ by A.L Hendriks and ‘The Fringe of the Sea’ by Paul Keens Douglas

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Introduction

Compare and contrast these two poems, explaining their effect on you:'Windjammer' by A.L Hendriks and 'The Fringe of the Sea' by Paul Keens Douglas Both these poems, as their titles suggest, are about the sea. 'Windjammer' by A.L Hendriks is written in Caribbean dialect, the narrator is on board a boat in the Caribbean Sea. He seems to hate the rough sea "An' ah wish to god ah did stay home". 'The Fringe of the Sea' by Paul Keens Douglas is written in Standard English. The narrator is idealising the sea and he seems to love the 'sleek and decorous' Caribbean Sea. Each poem creates vivid images and clever mind pictures. In the first poem you get the impression of a scared, self-piteous man, swaying, green-faced, on a rickety, smelly, fishing boat and "Dem seasick pills don't work neither..." This is a great contrast to the second poem. Here you get the impression of a lazy, carefree man "barearmed, barefoot, bareheaded" able to "saunter" aimlessly beside a serene, resplendent sea. The form of the two poems is completely different. In 'The Fringe of the Sea' each verse is like a miniature desert island, varied in shape and size. Using alliteration and repetition of the title of the poem and using simple, clear language gives the effect of soothing waves "swaying near." ...read more.

Middle

"We want to be able to saunter beside it Slowpaced in burning sunlight," The charming scene brought to mind by this poem, epitomises the respect and awe that the poet has for the sea: "elegant in high blue chambers." This gives a much more traditional and kindly view of the sea. The simile in 'The Fringe of the Sea': "like farmers do with soil,"-comparing the soil to the sea, shows dependence and need, showing indeed that the sea 'is an essential part' of Paul Keens-Douglas' 'psyche'. It is interesting that A.L Hendriks' similes are connected to land objects. Showing that he is indeed a land person and is unused to the sea. He compares the mast to "two tree growin." Likens a wave to a 'mountain' and the "foam all roun de boat like soap." He compares these new, strange things he sees, to comforting, stable, straightforward objects. This makes him seem honest and of a lesser intelligence somehow, even though he isn't. We see his simplicity in his choice of images. Paul Keens-Douglas uses such obvious, humble verbs, showing his positive and thoughtful attitude to the idyllic world that he is at peace with. He lists the mundane necessity "to work" equally with such pleasant verbs as: "to walk" "dive and swim and play" Showing that to him even work is enjoyable and just a natural part of his day. ...read more.

Conclusion

The use of rhetorical questions enhances the parody of 'Windjammer: "who sen' me eh? Who sen' me?" In 'The Fringe of the Sea' there are no rhetorical questions, everything is stated as fact. The simple statements do not allow for doubt. 'The Fringe of the Sea' is my favourite poem out of the two. Everything in it is pensive, drifting along with dream like quality, with the wise, intelligent man in his perfect world. But my favourite line has to come from 'Windjammer' as this poem has so much enthusiasm, even in the terrible situation that the man is in. The last line is the best: "Dem seasick pills don't work neither..." It seems that it was an afterthought, not as important as the rest of the poem, but it gives you the most insight into the narrators feelings and is definitely the most amusing and witty. With the words trailing off to leave you wondering. The character in 'Windjammer' seems very carefully thought out by the poet but somehow unrealistic and over the top in his manner. You can't help having a sneaking suspicion that for all his complaint, the author likes and respects the sea really. This is an actual similarity to 'The Fringe of the Sea' as the character here, is also very unrealistic, but for the opposite reason. Where, in 'Windjammer' the complaining character and seasick situation seems too bad, in 'The Fringe of the Sea' the gentle character and faultless situation seem too good. ...read more.

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