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English essay: "Piano and Drums."

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English essay: "Piano and Drums." Discuss the poet's treatment on culture in Piano and Drums. Due: a long time ago In the poem "Piano and Drums" the poet Gabriel Okara depicts and contrasts two different cultures through symbolism of pianos and drums. The Poem is divided into four stanzas. The first two stanzas represent the "drum" culture and the second two stanzas show the "piano" culture. The description of the drums is in two stanzas, but is one sentence long. The first line of the first stanza: 'When at break of day at a riverside' Uses trochees to emphasize the deliberate broken rhythm. The stanza has savage words, "bleeding flesh," "urgent raw," "leopard snarling," "spears poised," to show that this is a primitive culture, one which has dependency on the environment, as is represented by the "hunters crouch with spears poised." The environment in this culture is physically dangerous, surrounded by wild animals. Drums here are a way of communication, and "jungle drums telegraphing the mystic rhythm, urgent, raw..." shows the way of life in this culture. ...read more.


"Simple Paths" is a metaphor; it has what his education has provided for him. There are few life choices, simple, and contrasts to the complex European lifestyle where it is often easy to get lost with all the different options available. Life for the African culture is more predetermined. The description of the drums has no regularity, a varied rhythm and unrepeated metrical feet which all reflects the topic of the poem. Many verbs are used to show that this culture is physical, one of doing and being. The words used to describe the drums are instinctive, simple, and show a community environment. It is informal and loud. The next two stanzas are three sentences long, and represent western, European society. It uses mainly abstract nouns to associate with the piano, to emphasize how the culture and society are more materialistic with society's restrictions and Western society removing what people are supposed to be. The poet uses soft, elegant, formal and classical words to depict the culture of the piano- or western society. ...read more.


"Lost in the labyrinth on its complexities, it ends in the middle of a phrase at a daggerpoint." There is another contrast with how the primitive society is physically dangerous, yet this society, which is seen as 'bigger and better' is emotionally dangerous which makes him feel alone and misplaced. The last stanza uses mystical imagery and metaphoric language. "Lost in the morning mist..." shows how he is lost between the two societies- between his background and upbringing and what he is aspired to be. "Wandering in the mystic rhythm of jungle drums and the concerto." The poem follows a logical format with each stanza beginning with "When, And, Then and And." The connotations of each instrument contrast with one another, with Drums illustrating primitive behaviour, and a savage, dangerous culture. The connotations of the piano are complex and technical. The piano uses significantly different word sounds, showing that it is learnt, westernized and intricate compared to the drums which is instinctive and naturally acquired, and simple. The poem uses no set rhyme pattern which suits the poem as it has an undecided effect, emphasizing the confusion of the persona over his future. There is some iambic use as well as the use of trochees. ...read more.

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