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Comparing and contrasting of poems 'Woman Work' and Overheard in County Sligo'

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Comparing and contrasting of poems 'Woman Work' and Overheard in County Sligo' We have been studying two poems in class. One of the poems being 'Woman Work' which is by Maya Angelou. Maya was born in the year April 1928. She is not only a poet she is an author, historian, songwriter, playwright, dancer, stage and screen producer, director, performer and a singer. So she is very talented at various things. Maya is a very inspiring and real writer, when I say real I mean that her poem, particularly this one is true. Women are made to do a lot of work, even in this day. Perhaps the poem woman work was based on how she had to work a lot when she was younger before she had become a poet. The second poem we are studying is called 'Overheard in County Sligo'. This poem is written by a woman call Gillian Clarke who is again not just a poet but she is also a writer, editor, lecturer and broadcaster. A lot of Gillian's poems are about childhood, womanhood, Wales and how fragile life is. Her poetry reveals that she is really empowered to make women's contribution to society noticed as much as men's. She doesn't want to see men ruling the world when the women are trapped at home. She wants women to live free and follow their ambitions and dreams. She really cares for the women on the earth, as does Maya Angelou. Neither of them wants to see women being ruled over. They both feel very strongly for the women rights act. They shouldn't be treated like they are not good enough compared to men. Personally I believe this as well. It is very unfair for women not to be treated the same as men. After all they are all human and should have equal rights. Both of these poems have an interesting story with them. ...read more.


This stanza goes on further to say, "Cold icy kisses" This shows that she wants to be touched by the snow. To cool her down. The word cold is used in this line, which shows that she knows that it's cold and will cool her down. She seems to hate being hot so she is begging nature to cool her down. The line that follows also suggests that the intense heat that she gets is preventing her from sleeping. I know this because it says, "Let me rest tonight" She just wants one nights rest. There are so many things that are preventing her from sleeping. These are heat, working late and possibly the children keeping her awake. The lists of things that are keeping her awake are endless. She doesn't enjoy it. The poor woman is exhausted and is struggling to go on especially with the amount of work she actually has to do. She is begging nature to help her have this one night's rest that she so desires and needs. This stanza shows that she wants to cool down so that she can have at least one night sleep. The final stanza is different, it lists all the natural elements, and it says it like this, "Sun, rain, curving sky Mountain, oceans, leaf and stone Star shine, mood glow" This shows that she is acknowledging all the things that she wants to help her through her situation. She hates being stuck in the repetitive life, where she doesn't get any rest. Nobody likes that and nor does she. The last line of this stanza reads, "You're all that I can call my own" This is really interesting, because how can you own an element. You can't. I think this means all she has to hang on to, to own, is the support and motivation she gets off nature. She does this so that she can feel secure that one day she will get her life back and not be all alone. ...read more.


This shows that she has previous ambitions. When she was younger she could have done these things. She wanted to be the centre of attention, not stuck in the middle of nowhere. She is saying she had previous ambitions that she could have fulfilled. But she didn't act on that and due to the culture of Ireland, the Catholics in Ireland are very strict and divorce is not an acceptable option she may have also been pressured into marrying young and if she did leave she would receive nothing. Now at her age she probably would not get to work in the Abbey or become a famous author. In similarities, I mentioned about how they both dislike doing chores, I said I would expand on the differences of that. In 'Woman Work' the woman dislikes the chores because they tire her out and she struggles to do them all when she is so tired. In 'Overheard in County Sligo' she doesn't like them because they are boring; she wants to do something with her life. She seems to be a very self centred woman does the one in 'Overheard in County Sligo'. They day dream, but, in 'Woman Work' she dreams of a release by nature, setting her free so that she can have the night's rest, when in 'Overheard in County Sligo' she dreams of being famous. Once again that seems very self centred. The final difference is that in 'Woman Work' she is from the USA and in 'Overheard from County Sligo' she is from Ireland. These cultures are different; this means the woman from 'Overheard in County Sligo' could easily leave whereas the woman in 'Woman Work' cannot leave, this is due to the culture. Having these differences is a good thing, because it gives you things to look out for in the poem, these things can then move on to other things etc. So these differences how that the poems may be similar but they are still very different. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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