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Essay on Poems from different cultures - Blessing and Island Man

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Introduction

Essay on poems from 2 different cultures I have been studying 2 poems from 2 different cultures, Blessing by Imtiaz Dharker. And Island Man by Grace Nichols. The poems are both set in 2 different countries, that are both different from our own. Blessing is about how precious water is in some parts of India , and shows how difficult it is for a lot of people to get enough water. Island Man contrasts life on a Caribbean island and life in London, and shows the views that someone from the Caribbean may have when living in London. Blessing is set in a hot country, where clearly it is hard for some people to get enough water. As the writer lives in India and is originally from Pakistan, it relates back to that area, where it is very hot and people living in shanty towns, or deprived areas, may not get direct water. The stanzas of the poem are broken up in an unusual way, there are 4 stanzas, but all vary in length, the first is 2 lines, the 2nd is 4 lines, the 3rd is much longer and is 11 lines and the last stanza is 6 lines. And each have a different focus, the first is introducing the poem, and very quickly explains what it is about. ...read more.

Middle

And so is comparing it to this, saying that it is of equal value to these people. Crashing is a powerful word and adds emphasis to the sound of the water hitting the ground. "and the flow has found A roar of tongues..." This suggests that there is a lot of excitement as this happens, that these people are ready for the water and are there quickly to get a drink. The word "roar" shows the excitement of this by the use of a strong verb. "...From the huts, A congregation:..." "Congregation" again relates it back to religion like at the start, as it is a word associated with prayer, shows the value of the water to the people, comparing it with a god or worship. "...every man woman child for streets around butts in, with pots, brass, copper, aluminium, plastic buckets, frantic hands" This section is done as a list, which changes the pace of it. It also shows the desperation for the water that they will use anything they can get their hands on to get some water, even using hands to cup the water, it shows how deprived of water these people are. And it also shows it as a mass event, as everyone is coming from far away to get water. "and naked children screaming in the liquid sun," this shows the excitement of the children, which is also emphasised by the use of a strong verb like "screaming" which shows the joy of these children at the water. ...read more.

Conclusion

"North Circular roar" points out an area of London, linking to the sentence before it, the cars moving along, like a dull surge. "muffling muffling his crumples pillow waves island man heaves himself Another London day" "muffling" suggests the sound of him waking up, on the pillow, the muffled sounds from the pillow, also the repetition of the word suggests, again, the repeating of the waves hitting the shore, so is still thinking of his island. "heaves himself" suggests the effort of getting out of bed and leaving his dream, which again, shows he misses it and cannot forget the past. This poem shows how hard it is for the man to leave behind his old culture and start a new life in London, as he cannot forget the past and his happy life back on his island. The contrast is shown very effectively by the writer, as herself, lives on London and can compare her home with life in London. "grey metallic soar" I thought was an effective line, as it makes the dullness have a sound, of the soar of cars passing. The poems contrast 2 different cultures, which does wake you up to different lives people from other countries would have, especially island man, contrasting life in the Caribbean, to life in London, Blessing only shows one different culture, but it does wake you up to the differences between my own and the lives that somepoeple there might have. ...read more.

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