Comparison of Blessing and Nothing is changed

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Comparison of Blessing and Nothing is changed

Compare and contrast the way the poets show the problems affecting the culture they are writing about in 'Nothing's Changed' and 'Blessing'.

Tatamkhulu Afrika, author of 'Nothing's Changed' has written a probably autobiographical poem, where he is revisiting scenes of his childhood; a reflective poem, that is very emotional. The poem set in South Africa, illustrates a society where rich and poor are divided. He remembers when he was a boy and the laws, enforced by police that separated the whites from the blacks. He has come back to Cape Town and seen that 'Nothing's changed' in the apartheid.

Imtiaz Dharker author of 'Blessing' has written a descriptive poem, set in a hot country, where there is a shortage of water, as told in the opening lines of the poem where the human skin is compared to a seedpod, drying out till it cracks. The poem is set in India, in a village where there is poverty. We know that this because firstly there is a shortage of water, and secondly they live in huts. Consider also the last line, 'their small bones'. This could mean that there is also a shortage of food or it can also emphasis the size of the small children. In line 18, when it says 'and naked children', this also shows us that they have no clothes or it can emphasise the need of water to wash.

Tatamkhulu Afrika shows us a society divided between the blacks and the whites. He also shows the difference between their cultures. 'District Six' is the name of a poor area of Cape Town. This area was bulldozed as a slum in 1966, but never properly rebuilt. Although there is no sign there, the poet can feel that this is where he is: 'but my feet know, and my hands.' Similarly the 'up-market' inn (brash with glass' and the bright sign, 'flaring like a flag', which shows its name) is meant for the white customers only. The 'whites only inn' is elegant, with linen tablecloths and a 'single rose' on each table. It is contrasted with the fast food 'working man's caf39; which sells the local snack ('bunny chows'). There is no tablecloth, just a plastic top, and there is nowhere to wash one's hands after eating: 'wipe your fingers on your jeans.' This is all totally different from the poem written by Imtiaz Dharker, in which everyone as a community runs for the water and everyone has a right to the water, ('every man woman child for streets around').

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There are many religious beliefs in 'Blessing', as you can see straight away from the title, which emphasises how holy the water is to the people and that it is a blessing from God. Many of the religious words are use to describe the water and to also symbolise the culture of the people living there. The sound of the dripping water is referred to as 'the voice of a kindly god' in line 6, but then later on it is also referred to as 'fortune and 'silver'. This is connected to God in the Hindu religion, because Hindus pray ...

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