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The Saffron Picker

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Introduction

The Saffron Picker- The Saffron Picker explores day in the life of a woman as she picks saffron's to provide for her family. The poet uses symbols and imagery to show the nature of her life and the mood shows what life would have been like for her and her family in the third world. Beveridge gives a sense of injustice as the woman has to constantly think about how much she needs for her family to survive. Although this is the case, Beveridge also shows acceptance of her place in the world without sympathy, more of observation that this is the way life is. Beveridge regularly uses metaphors in her poem to suggest the lack of balance in the world. The 'scales set by fate' that 'balance each day with the next' are metaphors for the balance of the world and her misfortune whilst those better off benefit from her work. ...read more.

Middle

The light saffron 'crocus' adds up to create such a 'weight in her apron' that is not only filled by the saffron, but by the 'indivisible hunger that never has the levity of flowers,' this shows that no matter how much saffron is produced each day, it will never be enough as time is continuous and each day more is needed to sufficiently provide. This continuous nature of life is shown by the construction of Beveridge's poem. She uses enjambment between her verses, emphasising the continuous nature of life. The sun is used as an image in the poem which 'transposes its shadows' and it is asked 'how many rounds of a lustrous table the sun must go before enough yellow makes a spoonful heavy' this also elaborates on the continuing life cycle, showing that the sun will rise and fall each day as the woman must pick more saffron each day; nature's cycle will never end. ...read more.

Conclusion

The woman's scales are 'set by fate' and her lifestyle is one which is accepted by Beveridge. She uses an irregular beat in her poem to also identify that the world is also imperfect. The flaws she creates in her language draw the attention that life is full of these flaws and must be embraced and accepted as a part of life. Through Beveridge's poem, she explores the life of the Saffron picker from an observing perspective. Beveridge explores and accepts the different ways of life and it is told that the woman's lifestyle is one of 'misfortune' not of choice. The cycle of nature and people's role in it is one which is never ending. She uses juxtaposition of binary opposites like heaviness and lightness, dark and light, which represents to the reader the differences in life and explores the unfair nature of the world. Although Beveridge shows a calm mood and tone to her poem, showing acceptance of these inequalities of life, as something we must accept and live by. ...read more.

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This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

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