Friday, April 15, 2016

Post #5: A Sampling of Other African Poets

As before, find a poem from "A Sampling of Other African Poets" (377-390) to which you feel a connection, and explain why this poem has touched you.

40 comments:

  1. The poem, "Where Are Those Songs?" connected to me the most out of the other poems. The author Micere Githae Mugo writes of all the events in which he would hear people sing. The ending lines "observe, listen, absorb, soak yourself, bathe, in the stream of life and then sing, sing simple songs for the people, for all to hear and learn and sing with you," gives a good lesson of what to do in all of life's situations. This poem reminds me of the song by the Byrds, "Turn!Turn!Turn!". In all seasons of life there is a song to go with it, that can inspire, mend, and help others.

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  2. The poem that I felt a sense of connection and had the most meaning in this section is, "Liberation" by Abena Busia. My interpretation of the poem is that the poem talks about revolting against an oppressive authority. The lines 16-20, "We have stripped ourselves raw and naked piece by piece until out flesh lies flayed with our own hands. What thing can you do to us?". This connected to me by giving me a sense of the amount of pain that is done to these people. Therefore, brings all the more reason that in life, the actions of the majority can change things for the better, and serve the best interest for all.

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  3. The poem in which I connected with the most was “ Nightsong: City”. A poem that illustrates the oppression and social disregard of the South Africans people. It is a morbid tale that depicts the harsh reality of the the lower class people through the use of visceral detailing and similes to further aid the authors point. What made this poem so impactive and relatable for me was its somber tone of the night. The writer illustrates it as an urbanized city in which the low income residents reside, this setting the author creates show a lot in comparison of city I grew up in, with each metaphors used I can relay it to a past situation i seen or witness.

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  4. I was able to understand a great message from "Song of War" because it ties back to slavery and great deal of war and destruction. "Let the white man's guns boom." This quote is the one that set the tone of the whole poem because throughout history, white men have always tried to conquer the world or at least a lot of countries. How they use violence to get what they want, and in a continent like Africa, white men there could only mean one thing and that is greed. Using their guns on innocent women and children to force them into slavery. It is definitely a War.

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  5. The poem that intrigued me the most was "Isatou Died" by Lenrie Peters from Gambia. The poem was about the death of a five year old child named Isatou and how her death wasn't appreciated by anyone except her father. The last line in the poem, which adds imagery to show how her father looks at her corpse through his "marble eyes" and when he uses a metaphor to express his pain for what he's lost, shows that there was someone, a close family member that felt deeply about her death and his own loss. His love is shown through the metaphor he used to describe his daughter, " perfume, mixed with morning dew. I believe the author is trying to tell us that we should feel sadness for children like Isatou who aren't appreciated and loved by many.

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  6. The poem that I liked the most was " Porte Doree" (325) because it describes the fondest memories of someone growing up. " I have chosen to live near the rebuilt walls of my memory" this right here shows vivid imagery in the sense that there trying to remember a happy time in their life, and desperately trying to go back to that and find some type of silver lining.

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  7. I connected with the poem "Liberation" by Abena Busia. This poem was about women's liberation and empowerment and as a woman i think this is a beautiful poem that could speak to many women who want equality. This poem sums up the feeling of being a strong woman in a society where women are put down for being women. I especially liked the first lines,"We are all mothers. and we have that fire within us, of powerful women whose spirits are so angry we can laugh beauty into life and still make you taste the salt tears of our knowledge..." I like how she perfectly captures the essence of a woman in her poem.

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  8. The poem ' I Give You Thanks My God' was the one that spoke to me the most. The reason was because the poet was proud and thanking god for having created him african-american which in todays society many people have become scared to feel proud of where they come from and of their race because of the way others judge based on stereotypes. It also touched me when the poet wrote' the total of all sorrows and set upon my head the World' because this made me think of how God is being portrayed as the the african-american poet feeling like this and the ' World' is the refering to all humans who inhabit the earth and how god has payed for our sins bearing the weight and sins of the world.

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  9. The poem "Libertation" was the poem that spoke to me the most written by Aben Busia. Liberation spoke to me the most because the author gives a clear meaning of mothers that are taken out of their freedom. The author uses a lot of the word "We" in order to give a stronger sense of the oppression of what mothers are going through. The poem also speaks to me because I have a mother and I know that mothers should be respected and mothers go through a lot. It also spoke to me because the it is a strong poem that states the qualities of a mother in the beginning of the poem and then starts making the points of being oppressed throughout the poem.

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  10. The poem that stood out to me was Bernard Dadie's "I Give You Thanks My God". Dadie delivers a beautiful message of self love, acceptance, and perseverance; which I think is a very significant topic in today's society. Many people are having difficulty in finding acceptance with themselves due to those around them. I think Dadie's message is delivered in a way that can potentially help readers do the same as he uses the line "I give you thanks my God" in repetition. Also in lines 27-28, "And yet I am happy to carry the world" shows the perseverance the poet has despite the obstacle in life and how we need to proud of ourselves and embrace that.

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  11. Jocelyne RodriguezApril 18, 2016 at 12:02 PM

    The poem that I feel that stood out to me the most was titled "Letter From A Contract Worker" by Antonio Jacinto. The entire poem is a beautiful letter that the author is writing to his love. He expresses how much he loves and misses her since he has been away at work. In the next few stanzas, Jacinto is reminiscing about the features of his love and memories that they share. The poem goes on with more passionate and romantic lines such as "I wanted to write you a letter my love, a letter that would be brought to you by the passing wind." This passionate love letter is then brought to a devastating end, as the author states that his love cannot read nor can he even write. The terrible twist at the end of Jacinto's poem is what made it most memorable to me.

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  12. One poem I connected with was "Liberation" by Abena Busia. This poem touched me because from what the meaning I got out of the poem was that a higher authority will always try to bring someone of less authority down but we have so much in us that makes us so strong that whatever they say or do won't make a difference on our confidence. Just like in lines 26-28, "Ignorance shattered us into such fragments we had to unearth ourselves piece by piece" and since their lack of knowledge hurts us we still laugh it off and still go on with our dreams.

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  13. The poem that I found most interesting was "The Woman with Whom I Share my Husband" by Okot P'Bitek. The poem is from "Song of Lawino." I enjoyed reading this poem because of how tribes have different types of wives. The woman speaking in the poem is the more traditional wife who has grown and done things in life out of tradition. Her husband has fallen in love with another woman who is more of a modern woman who is pursuing more of a white woman. I can't help, but enjoy how the traditional wife describes this new wife. She says she is not completely jealous, but the way she talks about the other woman's appearance sounds as if she despises her. This poem can be related to a marriage in today's society even though the culture background is completely different. The conflict between tradition and modernization will be an ongoing problem. I would recommend this poem because the reader can honestly hear how this woman is describing her husband's new wife.

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  14. The poem that I found interesting was "I Give You Thanks My God" by Bernard Dadie. In this poem the author is giving thanks for everything that he has been given in life, even if society thinks that it's a bad thing. The poem is all about being content with the cards that have been dealt to you by life.Instead of the author feeling sorry for himself and his circumstances, he is viewing the positive side of them. I think the author realizes that when you view things like they're a good thing that you feel happy about them. I related to this poem because i also try to have this optimistic view of the world and my life. Instead of feeling sorry for myself I just fake it until I make it.

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  15. My favorite poem was definitely " Nightsong: City" by poet Dennis Brutus. What stood out to me in this poem was the way he described the nighttime atmosphere making it really easy for the reader to build a mental image of exactly what he was envisioning or looking at through his use of similes and symbolic terms. I get the sense that he did not see the beauty in the nightlife so didn't want his 'love' to wake up and witness what he seen.

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  16. I liked the poem "I Give You Thanks My God" by Bernard Dadie. The poem expresses how the author is proud of being alive and gives thanks to God for giving him life. No matter the situation the author is glad to be alive because of God. This poem touched me because I am also thankful to God for being alive. I am also proud of my culture and ethnicity just like how the author is proud of his skin color.

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  17. I enjoyed the poem "Nightsong: City" by Dennis Brutus. I believe it is about the harshness of life being an African American. Each stanza is talking about a different problem of everyday life for him. Who "my love" is is not clear, but it sounds like he's trying to stay positive by saying sleep well; at least he and whoever else gets a break from it all at the end of the day. I also think he is raising awareness about the life of African Americans and trying to show the readers what daily life is like for him.

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  18. I really enjoyed the poem "Nightsong: City," by Dennis Brutus. Brutus talks about how life is when you live in South Africa and how it's not easy living when there are a lot thing going on that make it difficult to enjoy life. In this poem, Brutus is portraying a South African society that is of a lower class and have daily struggles to make it through the day. Even though it's tough to get through everyday in this society they try to make the best of it and enjoy that they get to live another day at the end of the night.

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  19. The poem "Nightlong:City" by Dennis Brutus (South Africa), was a short, yet meaningful poem. I interpreted the message of the poem to be that we should always sleep and live in peace because whether or not we do, life goes on. The author of the poem uses descriptive imagery to describe the city. It paints the picture for us, the readers of what the city looks like. I really enjoyed this poem because it reminded me that it is ok to sit back and relax, even when life gets difficult, because whether or not we are going through a rough time, life continues to go on.

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  20. The poem "Isatou Died" by Lenrie Peters caught my attention. I felt that this poem was paying tribute to this little girl's death because nobody seemed to be mourning for her except her father. Her mother was half grateful that she passed and didn't even stop to appreciate her own daughter's smile. The neighbors cried because they felt like they had to and were relieved that they wouldn't have to partake in her wedding. The mother and neighbors wept and wailed, but the most sincere was her father with his "marble eyes." There was heartfelt grief for his own little girl in his form of mourning.

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  21. The poem that spoke out to me was "I Give You Thanks My God" by Bernard Dadie. From this poem I understood that the man who was black was proud to be who he was. He was thankful for being the person he was. The person that God created. In this time people weren't proud to be black because of all that they had to go through. He describes how he was pierced in the heart 36 times yet he was still happy. Despite the harsh circumstances that he went through because of being black, he wouldn't have had it any other way because he was proud to be who he was and thankful to God for making him who he was. This speaks out to me because I realized that no matter what we should always be thankful for who we are and give that thanks to God. We should never question why he made us the way he did because we don't have the right to question anyone and especially God. We should all be thankful for being who we are and every second that we get the chance to still be living to see tomorrow.

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  22. The poem I most connected to was "Liberation" by Abena Ghana. It describes the upbringing of women and their power to overcome violence and unpleasant situations that have been in the past. It shows how strong a woman can be no matter how many things are trying to put her down. The title goes so well with the poem for it is about women finally being free.

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  23. The poem in which I connected the most is "I Give You Thanks My God" by Bernard Dadie because the author describes how he is being thankful for everything he is given in life. He could have been going through hard times, and instead of feeling pessimistic about his life, he feels thankful for being the way he was born. He is thankful for his race and this is a great example to let us know that we should be thankful for everything we have as well. I can connect to this poem since I always have to remind myself how we need to be thankful every day because there are others who wish they had the life we have.

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  24. The poem that spoke to me the most in this section is “I Give You Thanks My God” by Bernard Dadie. Dadie uses allusion to transmit a powerful message which is to give thanks to our creator and exalt him even in the worst of times. Many times we focus only on the hardships of life and also become harsh critics on ourselves. We might not be content with the way we look or the way life is going so far. This poem reminds us that we have a wonderful creator that did and continues do everything for a specific reason. We should always give thanks to him, even when life is not going the way we had planned. Lines 22 and 23 to me are the most meaningful lines in this poem, “Thirty-six swords have pierced my heart/ Thirty-six brands have burned my body.” These lines are an allusion of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, and they remind me once again to give thanks and be content because he died for me and lives in me.
    -Marlene Herrera

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  25. The poem that spoke to me was "Nightsong: City" by Dennis Brutus. I found this poem very meaningful. Each stanza is talking about a different situation in South Africa. In the first and last stanza, Brutus symbolizes "my love" by referring it to his country South Africa. I believe he's trying to say he understands his country is in trouble, but he wants it to "sleep well." Brutus loves his country and hopes it can change.

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  26. The poem, “One Night at Victoria Beach”, written by Gabriel Okara spoke to me as after having read it only once. Although the meaning of the entire poem is still unclear to me, I took the poem to mean that in all things reference God. Whether you are going through good times or bad times, whether you are successful or going through trials and tribulations, acknowledge God. In essence I believe the poem was attempting to deliver a message that one should be prayerful, whether things are going good or bad.

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  27. The poem "I give you thanks god" by Bernard Dadie spoke to me immediately from simply reading the title. The poems a strong poem with many uses of Allusion in the poem that gives hints and connections to the sacrifice of christ. I enjoy the poem simply how I was able to intemperate it with the simple fact of the blessing of life, and giving thanks to God for the opportunity at life. The poem explains how one should be content with the life that is handed out before them, and take the adventure of life head on. I felt that the repetition used in the poem helped to concentrate on what Dadie was trying to send forward in his message, and to help almost persuade the reader in opening their eyes of the faith.

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  28. The poem that I felt the most connected to in this section was "Letter From a Contract Worker" by Antonio Jacinto. I felt like poem is the most beautiful poem out of this entire section a book. The poet in the poem describing the features of his lady by comparing her to beautiful natural things, is my favorite part. Even though this poem was lengthy, I still wanted to continue reading it. This poem also reminds me of a love song like "Hey There Delilah" by the plain white T's. This poem in all is just beautiful in the way how the poet describes their love for their lady.

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  29. The poem “I Give You Thanks My God “by Bernard Dadie, the author talks about how a black person is sarcastically thanking god for making him black. He describes how he looks in line 31 he says the thickness of his lips. The character in the poem says he doesn’t care that he was born black he is just happy to be alive, no matter the life he has. From all the poems this is the poem that grabbed my attention because it talks about accepting the life we have. We might not be suffering like the character in this poem, we all have struggles but we have to see the good side in it. Many people I know always complain of not liking the life they have. Everything happens for a reason but we have to always see the good side in it. I think the message the author is trying to give in this poem is to be happy with the life you have because it could have been worst.

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  30. The poem "Nightsong:City" by Dennis Brutus is about the poet talking about his love for his country, South Africa. When he says "my land, my love, sleep well." I think he is referring to South Africa at night time and telling it to be save and sleep well. This poem really touched me because of how passionate Brutus is about his country. He talks about different parts of of it in every stanza describing all the things that he loves so much about it. Although he talks about police cars in the streets and cockroaches and some other nasty things, you can still tell that he takes pride in his country and loves it.

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  31. The poem that spoke to me most was "I Give You Thanks My God" by Bernard Dadie. This was a very motivating poem. It was about someone who is very thankful for the way God made him. Instead of being bitter and having a bad outlook on life, he is happy and thankful. Most people are always looking for the negative in things and always want more or to change how they are. However, he is extremely grateful for the life he has been given and the person that he is. I think that we could all learn something from this poem because many times in life we find ourselves wanting more or not being happy with who we are.

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  32. "I Give You Thanks My God" by Bernard Dadie is the poem I read and it became one of the better poems I have read this far.I love the fact that he keeps expressing how he gives thanks to his god for having created him black.Being a black man and a man of faith this poem really related to me and I felt like it was a message of just wanting to be proud and thankful to god no matter the situation.

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  33. The poem that caught my attention was "Nightsong:City" by Dennis Brutus. This poem spoke to me because the night time is time for sleep for most people, but the night is still wide awake with so much going on. But the author was saying that to let all the night the step aside from your mind and let yourself sleep and rest.

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  34. Brutus's "Nightsong: City", stands out to me because it's about rest. In his poem he talk about night time as a time for most people to rest. However it isn't like this because night time is also a time where activity happens, and earth is at its finest hours because of the peace that this hour bring.

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  35. The poem that got my attention was " I give you thanks my god" because it shows the black male to be proud of who he is. He is thankful for his life although he went through a lot in his life time. This poem inspired me to be proud of who I am, even though the world might bring me down.
    -Stephanie Hurtado

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  36. "Letter from a Contract Worker" by Antonio Jacinto was the poem that spoke the most to me because of its repeating lines and the last stanza in particular. It was beautifully written by the speaker describing his love for his lady by using many similes and metaphors. It brought forward many of the things they used to do as a couple and gave a sense to the reader of how in love they were. The irony of the last line which read, "But oh my love, I cannot understand why it is, why it is, my dear that you cannot read and I-oh the hopelessness!-cannot write!". These last lines were probably used to convey a sense of significant historical moments that were occurring at that time in Africa, as in being an activist for education. It's interesting to read all these poems and realizing that they serve a purpose in bringing forward a personal independent struggle in a social community.

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  37. "I Give You Thanks My God" by Bernard Dadie, spoke to me the most out of these poems. He was so thankful the way God created him even though sometimes the weight of the world could be too much. He was happy God created him physically as well. He is still able to laugh even with his circumstances.

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  38. I like the poem, "Nightsong: City" by Dennis Brutus because what fascinates me that he described what it is like to live in the city of South Africa. I could tell this poem have imagery and symbolisms as to how the South Africans felt when "police cars cockroach through the tunnel streets". This may be seen as police officers abusing their power against these people fearing for their lives trying to sleep day by day not knowing if today or tomorrow will be their last.

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  39. The poem, Where Are Those Songs, by Micere Githae Mugo, reminded me of the importance of family traditions. Throughout the poem, the speaker is referring to various occasions when songs would have been shared by women as they went about their day’s tasks. “What did they sing bathing us, rocking us to sleep and the one they sang stirring the pot (swallowed in parts by choking smoke)? Songs are a vehicle to share stories and history, in this poem the speaker is inquiring about these missed songs and only can recall one from their mother. These stories are imperative in families because family history and traditions are passed from one generation to the next. If the songs stop, the stories stop. When my own children come home from visiting my mother, they often tell me about stories she has shared. When I hear, “Mom, did you know…?”, I am both happy to hear their family stories, and saddened that I am missing this opportunity to pass on our own family songs to my children.

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  40. I really enjoyed the poem "I Give You Thanks My God" by Bernard Dadie because he is so thankful for the way he was born regardless of all the obstacles and hardships he has had to go through. I can relate, I have just recently realized how truly blessed I am to have been given the life I have.

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