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In what ways is Grace Nichols Using an Individual, Characteristic Poetic Voice For Forest?

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In what ways is Grace Nichols Using an Individual, Characteristic Poetic Voice For Forest? The ways in which Grace Nichols using an individual, characteristic poetic voice is very different from other poets such as Ted Hughes or Seamus Heaney. From a first impression of the poem, we can see there is no set poem structure. This is a free verse poem, almost in a conversational style. The fifth and sixth stanza's begin with 'and' and 'but' respectively as if it is speaking to the reader personally. This is unlike many poems and is free of style. I believe that Grace Nichols is British but with a strong Jamaican or Caribbean background. We can predict this by the fact that the poem is written in English originally and the English used is not Standard English. This poem is in dialect English, the word forms, which are non-standard as in many cases, prove this the word 'is' is not present. Also there are no definite articles throughout the poem. Throughout the most common words in English like 'the' and 'a' are very rare within the poem. There are therefore no grammatical words. There are only indefinite articles, which are words that actually have a meaning, also called lexical. ...read more.


In the third stanza, in the first line there is another instance where a modern word is included. 'Broadcast' is a relatively new word and this therefore adds to Grace Nichols poetic voice, making her sound young, certainly in relation to Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney. In the eighth line if the poem there is a clear indication of Rastafarian I-speak. This means the opposite of the actual meaning or truth is never spoken. The phrase 'cover her business down' is used instead of 'cover up', as if you wish to obscure you are trying to put the matter down or in hiding. Line nine consists of another internal rhyme, which has come before and gives a clear view of Grace Nichols style. The rhyme is with the words 'sky' and 'eye'. Here there is a clear use of a metaphor, as the sun cannot spy without eyes. This could therefore mean that the sun is always spying but the forest is covering up her business. In many ancient beliefs the sun is a god, and the earth is a goddess. Therefore this could mean that the rain and the lightening could be the fertiliser and when the earth gives birth to everything, like a mother and father relationship. ...read more.


Therefore by analysing this play closely I can say that there are many ways that we have discovered about Grace Nichols' individual poetic voice. This is mainly done by the conversational style, and the poem containing no equal structure, rhythm and verse form. This is a relaxed poem, and gives a relationship between the poet and reader. The repetition in this poem: 'Forest could keep secrets' This could be to make this point clear and to reilliterate it. The surface meaning of this poem is that it is a simple poem about ecology, however this has other meanings such as the forest having a large variety of life and the many benefits of keeping the rainforest. A lot of imagery is used by Grace Nichols in this poem, and this creates an imagery museum like Hughes and Heaney did with their poems, using the same image but diverging it. This group of images create an image cluster within this poem. There is an active tone in this poem, which is hard to grasp. It is intimate. I can therefore conclude that the many ways that Grace Nichols uses an individual poetic voice, are not only done by her Caribbean dialect, but from the intelligent poetic terms and uses that she also uses to give a clear picture of the subject matter. Yusuf Nurbhai 11C ...read more.

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