Cluster 1 Poetry From Different Culture Notes

Notes on all the cluster 1 poetry, including form and structure, language and themes. Pretty in depth and hopefully useful!

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Richard Dodding 11TPB
POETRY FROM DIFFERENT CULTURES
CLUSTER ONE
VULTURES ­ CHINUA ACHEBE
TONE, THEMES AND ATTITUDE
VULTURES EXPLORES WHETHER IT IS BETTER TO BE GOOD WITH A
BIT OF BAD, OR BAD WITH A BIT OF GOOD, AND HIGHLIGHTS THE
HYPOCRICY THAT SOMEONE CAN KILL JEWS AT A CONCENTRATION
CAMP AND THEN GO HOME AND PICK UP CHOCOALTE FOR HIS
CHILDREN. THE SAME GOES FOR THE VULTURES, USUAULLY VILE
CREATURES, THAT SHOW TENDERNESS AND AFFECTION WHERE YOU
WOULD LEAST EXPECT IT.
SHOWS THE HYPOCRICY OF BEING ABLE TO BE SO EVIL BUT STILL
HAVE SOME GOODNESS WITHIN YOU.
TAKES A REFLECTIVE TONE OF SAYING `THIS IS HOW HUMAN
NATURE IS' AND COMPARES IT TO THE NATURAL WORLD, WHICH
TURNS OUT TO BE VERY SIMILAR. THIS REFLECTIVE MOOD ALLOWS
THE READER TO THINK FOR THEMSELVES ABOUT WHETHER THEY
THINK IT IS RIGHT THAT SUCH AN EVIL THING CAN ALSO BE GOOD AT
THE SAME TIME.
THEMES THAT RUN THROUGH THE POEM INCLUDE DEATH, LOVE
AND EVIL. THESE IDEAS ARE CONSTANTLY CONTRASTED
THROUGHOUT THE POEM.
ON ONE HAND, ACHEBE PRAISES THAT EVEN THE CRUELEST OF
BEINGS CAN SHOW LOVE, BUT ON THE OTHER HE DESPAIRS ­ THEY
ONLY SHOW LOVE FOR THEIR OWN FAMILY, AND SO ALLOW
THEMSELVES TO COMMIT ATROCITIES TOWARDS OTHERS.
IT IS A SOCIAL COMMENTARY ON WHETHER WE ARE GOOD OR EVIL.
FORM AND STRUCTURE
THE POEM IS STRUCTURED ALMOST LIKE AN ARGUMENT WHICH
DIRECTS THE THOUGHT PROCESS OF THE READER. THE LIMITED

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Richard Dodding 11TPB
PUNCTUATION ALLOWS THE POEM TO FLOW UNHINDERED AND
MAKES IT SEEM MORE LIKE A RANT
1ST STANZA = VULTURES ­ LOVE AND TOGETHERNESS IN THE MIDST
OF DEATH AROUND THEM
2ND STANZA = ENIGMA OF LOVE IN FACE OF DEATH AND
DESTRUCTION
3RD STANZA = HYPOCRISY OF MURDERING CONCENTRATION CAMP
LEADER WHO CAN GO HOME TO HIS LOVING FAMILY AS IF IT WAS A
NORMAL JOB
4TH STANZA = DICHOTOMY OF LOVE EVEN FOR EVIL PEOPLE =
EITHER GOOD THAT IT IS…read more

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Richard Dodding 11TPB
CLEAR SEMANTIC FIELD OF DEATH: CHARNEL HOUSE (GRAVEYARD),
REMAINS, DEAD TREE, SWOLLEN CORPSE.
ALSO A SEMANTIC FIELD OF LOVE: HIS MATE, LOVE, COILED UP,
AFFECTIONATLY.
METAPHORS SUCH AS OGRE (DESCRIBING THE COMMANDANT) AND
`TINY GLOW WORM' (DESCRIBING THE SMALL AMOUNT OF LOVE)
ARE USED TO GREAT EFFECT, COMPARING THE VULTURES AND
COMMANDANT TO OTHER THINGS. THE CHARNEL HOUSE IS ALSO
SYMBOLIC OF THE WORLD OF DEATH THAT THE VULTURES LIVE IN,
AND DESPITE THIS THEY STILL MANAGE TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER.…read more

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Richard Dodding 11TPB
DISTRICT SIX WAS A SHANTY TOWN, WITH A LOT OF DIFFERENT
RACES LIVING THERE. A VERY BOHEMIAN PLACE. THE APARTHEID
GOVERNMENT BULLDOZED IT IN THE WAY FOR A WHITE
SETTLEMENT, BUT NEVER REBUILT IT FULLY.
THE POEM EXPLORES THE FACT THAT WHITE PEOPLE ARE STILL
CONSIDERED SUPERIOR AND THAT EVEN THOUGH BY LAW BLACKS
ARE ALLOWED INTO PLACES SUCH AS THE INN EVERYONE KNOWS
THAT REALLY THEY AREN'T ALLOWED AT ALL.…read more

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Richard Dodding 11TPB
THE FIRST STANZA ESTABLISHES A SCENE, AND ENDS WITH
`PURPLEFLOWERING AMIABLE WEEDS'. THIS PHRASE SHOWS
THAT JUST EBCAUSE PUBLIC OPINION IS BAD (AS THEY ARE WEEDS,
A PEST) IT DOESN'T NECESSARILY MEAN THAT IT IS BAD, AND THE
BRIGHT PURPLE COLOUR OF THE WEEDS COULD BE VIEWED AS A
GOOD THING. IT IS ALSO HIGHLY OXYMORONIC `AMIABLE/WEEDS'.…read more

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Richard Dodding 11TPB
FORM AND STRUCTURE
THE POEM HAS NO PUNCTUATION IN IT, WHICH ATTEMPTS TO
CREATE A CYCLICAL FEELING THAT THIS HAPPENS TO HIM
EVERYDAY AND THERE IS NO WAY FOR HIM TO ESCAPE.
THE POEM CAN BE SPLIT INTO TWO DISTINCT SECTIONS, ONE ABOUT
HOW HE LONGS FOR HIS HOME, AND ONE ABOUT HOW DULL LONDON
IS. THE TWO SECTIONS ARE JUXTAPOSED AND THIS CREATES A
CLEAR SENSE OF CONTRASTS.…read more

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Richard Dodding 11TPB
THE WORD `WOMBING' IS MADE UP, BUT IS SYMBOLIC OF A MOTHER
TAKING CARE OF ITS CHILD, WHICH IS WHAT THE SEA DOES TO THE
ISLAND MAN, MAKING HIM FEEL SAFE AND SECURE.
SIBILANCE IS USED `SOUND OF BLUE SURF' TO SOUND LIKE THE
WAVES, AND MAKE THE STANZA SEEM MORE DREAMLIKE.
THE SUN IS PERSONIFIED `SUN SURFACING DEFIANTLY' ­ NO
MATTER WHAT THE SUN WILL STILL COME OUT EVERYDAY.…read more

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Richard Dodding 11TPB
TRYING TO CHANGE IT, AND THERE IS A SLIGHT TINGE OF SADNESS
THAT THESE TWO VERY DIFFERENT TYPES OF PEOPLE WILL NEVER
REALLY GET TO MEET IN THE REAL WORLD.
IT TAKES A CRITICAL LOOK AT THE IDEA OF THE AMERICAN DREAM
(THAT ANYBODY CAN ACHEIEVE ANYTHING IF THEY TRY) BY
SHOWING THAT IN THE REAL WORLD, THIS ISN'T REALLY POSSIBLE.…read more

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Richard Dodding 11TPB
THEY HAVE, AND THIS IS HOW WE, IN THIS SOCIETY, TEND TO MAKE
JUDGEMENTS ON PEOPLE.
THE SCAVENGERS ARE DESCRIBED IN A VERY DIFFERENT MANNER,
WITH `HANGING ON' TRYING TO MAKE THEM SOUND ANAMALISTIC,
AND WORDS SUCH AS `GREY IRON HAIR' MAKING THEM SEEM
BORING AND DULL IN COMPARISON TO THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE. THE
SIMILIE `GARGOYLE QUASIMODO' MAKES THEM SEEM GROTESQUE
AND DISGUSTING.…read more

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