Rukhaya M.K

A Literary Companion

Month: October 2014 (page 1 of 3)

Poetry Analysis: Keki.N.Daruwalla’s “from Ruminations”


The poet senses that some impending violence is going to take place. He compares the violence to rain that would lash out at him. The violence is likened to the rain owing to its unpredictable nature and its ability to blind one’s vision. The violence would be caused by the mutual hatred which prevails between two different groups of people. The poet goes about looking for places where this violence might break out. Violence would lead to killings and the poet looks for the possible places where death might raise its head.

Only mass hatred dominates the scene set against the backdrop of the moon that is a pervading symbol of love. The violence stands brooding and stands like a cobra emblematic of imminent danger, and the poet is in a vulnerable situation as though he is prodding rat holes. In the attempt to close rodent holes and exploring echoing caves, he is haunted by the presence of fangs that dart. Dart may stand here for the verb ‘dart’ that means move quickly or the noun ‘dart’ that is capable of piercing. Impending violence sways like a pendulum rendering each moment lived cherished. It projects eyes that highlight hatred towards reptiles probably as reptile do scavenge.…

Poetry Analysis: Gwendolyn Brooks’ “We Real Cool”


THE POOL PLAYERS.
SEVEN AT THE GOLDEN SHOVEL.
We real cool. We
Left school. We
Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We
Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We
Jazz June. We
Die soon.

The poem “We Real Cool” from The Bean Eaters by Gwendolyn Brooks is one of Brooks’ most oft anthologized poems.” We real Cool” is a condensed yet terse statement on the recklessness of youth who are like cars without brakes in the frenzy of youth. They do not anticipate an accident awaiting them in their uncontrolled life.The line :“The Pool Players. / Seven at the Golden Shovel.” functions as the subtitle of this short poem. It echoes their Big thought in their small establishment.

They do it as they perceive it to be “real cool”. For them this non-chalance is the latest in-thing and a means to grab attention. The act itself gives their ego a boost. This ego is part of a collective consciousness as the word “We “is reiterated. The unrestrained rate and haste with which they function is foregrounded in the title with the absence of the word ‘are’. They are so much immersed in action that they do not find the need for a ‘verb’ to define themselves.…

Poetry Analysis: Gwendolyn Brooks’ “The Mother”


“But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child – a direct killing of the innocent child – murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?”—Mother Teresa(National Prayer Breakfast Speech Against Abortion – 1994)

The mother is the ultimate with regards to the child. The age-old adage goes that God created mothers because He could not be everywhere all the while. Therefore,if the mother forsakes the child, that would be the gravest injustice in the world .The speaker in the poem asserts that the act of abortion would haunt her for life,and an albatross would be hung around her neck. The tone of the poem is accusatory with the persistent use of “You”. It is also to a certain extent impersonal, universalizing the issue of abortion. The line :” You remember the children you got that you did not get” is indeed a paradox. Nevertheless as one ponders on the word ‘get’,it has biblical associations. The word ’get’ may also function as a condensed form of ‘beget’. The enjambments of lines serve to illustrate the continuity of guilt.…

Poetry Analysis: Gwendolyn Brooks’ “Kitchenette Building “


‘Kitchen’ is the metaphor for the common woman’s arena. Though it is limited, it is ‘Her’ domain, her expression of freedom. Therefore, the phrase ‘kitchenette building’ must imply the institutionalizing of the domestication of Woman. To perceive her as belonging to the kitchen, her place. Women, as the house-hold keepers are supposed to be always available, with no questions, only commands. Whilst others do have their share of holidays, the kitchen-keepers are always expected to work irrespective of circumstances, and their conveniences. They are part of the kitchenette building compartmentalized into slots, and marginalized in the process.

They assert that they are things of the dry hours. They have no outlet as day by day; they succumb to their mechanical routine. They live a mechanized life as they run on the master’s commands. Theirs’ is not a fixed plan, they live a an ‘involuntary’ plan where nothing is fixed and pre-calculated as per their norms. When the speaker says ’involuntary’, she means that the woman works on the impulses of others and not on her own impulses. They are ‘grayed in” as tough they are ageing with force, rather than with the advent of time. They are often termed as a Dream-mate of a man: but this is limited to a dream.…

Play Analysis : Henrik Ibsen’s “Ghosts”


Ibsen’s “Ghosts” is a slap on the face of those critics who questioned the stand of Nora in A Doll’s House. It blends an assortment of themes together. It presents the conflict between social dictums and individual choice, marriage and living-in, euthanasia and venereal disease, and selfless love and selfish love. The play holds a special relevance in the world of today as it relates with the contemporary times.

Mrs. Alving is the so-called Nora who does not bang the door on selfless love and does not shun social dictates and continues in the garb of the “perfect wife”. The consequences that she meets with are ‘Ghosts’ haunting her in the form of the depression of solitude, the immoral stand of her disease-ridden son and the burning of her dreamsin the form of Mr.Alving’s home. It is contrasted with the selfish love of Regina to foreground the former, where the latter hails the “joy of living”, it reigning supreme. An unlearned person like Engstrand has a better perception of morality in that he comprehends that saving a falling woman at the cost of a lie uttered, is in good spirits than adhering to superficial ideals of morality. Pastor Manders’ decision to help Engstrand to begin a Home for Sailors that is a brothel house in disguise highlights the underlying hypocrisy in the pastor’s teachings.…

Novel analysis: Family Relationships in Ngugi wa Thiago’s “Weep Not,Child”


Ngugi wa Thiago’s “Weep Not, Child” exemplifies the place of family in an individual’s life through the eyes of the protagonist. ‘Family’ is the heart and soul of the society in which Njoroge lives.

Njoroge’s family lives in then Mahua Village, has Ngotho as the head .He is the final authority and the one who has the final say in all matters. He has two wives- Njeri and Nyokabi, of whom Njeri is the first wife and elder one. Boro, Kori and Kamau are born of the first wife, while Mwangi and Njoroge are born of the second. Boro was a soldier in the Second World War and is a disillusioned individual. Kori works at the Green Hotel and Kamau is an apprentice to Nganga, the carpenter. Mwangi was killed in the Second World War and Njoroge is the only son of Nyokabi. Hoever, there is a close affinity between the brothers and towards their mother. Njeri was always called ‘our’ or ‘my elder mother’, while Nyokabi was just mother. It was a habit observed and accepted by all.

The husband in the family displays his emotions towards the wives and children unlike Okonkwo in “Things Fall Apart”. Ngotho jokes with his wives and discusses matters with them.…

Poetry Analysis: David Rubadiri’s “A Negro Labourer in Liverpool”


David Rubadiri’s “A Negro Labourer in Liverpool” strives to highlight the plight of a negro labourer in Liverpool. The indefinite article ‘a’ points to the lack of a specific identity. They are just one among a group, one of the community, who do not necessarily possess any individual identity. They are labeled according to their work(labourer)or corresponding to their geographical location

David Rubadiri hints at the indifference of society as a whole to the plight of the labourer as he states that he ‘passes’ him. He slouches on dark backstreet pavements. His ‘marginalization’ is evident in his position ‘slouching’. Further, it is also emphasized in his being side-stepped on the pavements. Again the pavement is qualified by the phrase ‘dark backstreet’. The head is ‘bowed’ when it would have preferred to be straight. He is overcome with fatigue and totally exhausted. He is a dark shadow amongst other shadows. He has no unique identity, his life is not colourful.

The poet asserts that he has lifted his face to his, as in acknowledgement. Their eyes met but on his dark Negro face. The poet probably refers to the reflection of the speaker’s eyes in the eyes of the labourer. The eyes are foregrounded on his dark face.…

Poetry Analysis: D.H.Lawrence’s “The Mosquito”


The poem is included in the collection Birds, Beasts and Flowers. Lawrence penned most of the poems in this collection while he was in Italy. It exemplifies the poet’s visualization of the animal world.

The prescribed poem exemplifies that the mosquito is not as insignificant as people make it out to be. The poet bestows upon it the honorific titles ”Monsieur”,”you exaltation”. etc. Far from ignoring it, the poet poses a series of interrogatives before the insect. Why does it stand on such high legs, as placed on a pedestal? He questions it on the length of its ‘shredded shrank.’ The word shrank means ‘the lower part of the leg.’ However, it also implies ‘to shank’ or to hit with a knife connoting the mosquito’s stinging.
Physically though insignificant, it seems to defy the forces of nature itself: the law of gravitation as it weighs no more than air. It fools the speaker himself, as it rests weightless upon himself. The mosquito is a phantom disregarding all worlds. The Winged Victory displayed at the Louvre, is one of the most celebrated sculptures in the world. It was created to honour the Goddess Nike, and symbolizes action and triumph. (Wikpedia)The arms and the figure’s head of the statue has never been found.…

Poetry Analysis: D. H. Lawrence’s “Piano”


D.H. Lawrence’s “Piano” is a poem about a fully-grown adult reminiscing about the past. The ‘piano’ serves as a metaphor of nostalgia. The rhythm of the piano seems to connect him with the past.

Music has a highly evocative power of bringing back memories. The picture seems to be faint as in the dusk. The singing comes softly to him, the song of a woman. Here memory is personified as a person holding the poet’s hand and leading him down the staircase symbolic of the memory lane. It gives the picture of the poet attaining adulthood through boarding the staircase of Life.Imagery is a significant part of the poem as the word ‘vista’ echoes. ’Vista’ means ‘the visual percept of a region’. The vision the speaker is endowed with is that of a child sitting under the piano. He is caught in the boom of the tingling strings. And he is simply happy to be there as he is with his mother who sings. The image evokes the picture of a kitten rubbing against its mother, as the boy presses against the poised feet of his mother. The adjective ‘poised ‘ is used to define the feet of the woman, reflects the regard and pride the speaker had for his Mom even at that tender age.…

Poetry Analysis: D. H. Lawrence’s “Snake”


“Snake” is from the series entitled Birds, Beasts and Flowers. It exemplifies the poet’s perspective of the animal world. Lawrence drew the inspiration of this poem from a meeting with a snake at his watering trough in 1920-21 when he lived at Fontana Vecchia in Taormina. The poems are described by Mr.Megroz as epoch-making as they are unprecedented in their range, and in the accuracy and intensity of their perceptions.The movement of the loose verse echoes the movement of the snake.

The poet asserts that it was a sultry afternoon in Sicily, as it was month of July. The poet comes to the tap to collect water. As he reaches an acrob-tree in the vicinity, he is stunned to find a yellowish brown snake drinking water from the trough. It lugs its slack body over the edge of the trough. It drank water with so much dignity, that the poet was compelled by an inherent reverence for it to wait for his chance to draw water.

He sipped with his straight mouth,
Softly drank through his straight gums, into his slack long body,
Silently.
Someone was before me at my water-trough,

The snake seems to have etiquette of its own.…

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