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

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Yusuf Nurbhai 11C

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.  Grace Nichols is once again confirmed as being from the Caribbean region by the Spanish links given in the poem. The word ‘eldorado’ meaning ‘golden one’ is a Spanish word. In history, the Spanish went to the Caribbean region in search of gold, and therefore the phrase ‘caress of gold’ could be a literal one thus again convincing me Grace Nichols is from the Caribbean.

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        The first two lines of the poem are the chorus or refrain. This means it is repeated, like in music, in between the verses. It also appears at the end of the poem before the coda. There is an animism used in the third line, as the forest cannot ‘tune in’ like a human to a radio. Animism is the belief that earth has a soul and therefore listens to everything in this instance. This is a relatively modern belief, making the poet sound young and intelligent. All the lines between three and six are personification as the forest does ...

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