English Quotes Songs of Ourselves Poems

Quotes on the Songs of Ourselves poems.


Hunting Snake

  • "Glazed his curves of diamond scale" - Deep analysis and description..awe and respect of the snake as it goes past. They stop and admire the snake and notice sweat appearing, to suggest tension and perhaps a pursuit on the way.
  • "Head down,tongue flickering on the trail"- Adapted for hunting and killing..machine with only one single purpose of killing....focused. By giving the snake the human-like determination, the author is making the snake seem more threatening but also more in control and powerul.
  • "Fierce intent"-  Elements of the animal being designed to kill and having only one purpose. It also shows that the snake is focused and has the intention of catchinng the prey with a lot of anger and fierce behavior.
  • "Cold,dark and splendid he was gone"- A horrific animal yet appears with beauty and is admired. It shows that the animal is respected and that it is also dangerous. Refers to the snake being cold-blooded.
  • "Head down,he followed,he quested"- Determination and personal ambition, which allows the animal to feel and think like a human would. The snake will not be distracted by the people and shows a lot of human traits that are impressive and also intimidating.
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  • "Stunned by their own grandeur.....100 feet long in their world."- The writer brings across the arrogance off the Pike. It creates the animals mindsight as being confident and in control. Also it recognises the respect other animals have for it, powerful.
  • "From the egg."- The writer says they are killers from the egg and that they were brought up to kill. They know no other way and are killing machines.
  • "The jaws hooked clamps and fangs....a life subdued to its instument"- The pike is unable to do anything other than kill. It has almost been bred in order to adapt to killing, thus describing its body weapons.
  • "Silhouette of a submarine."- The pike is a weapon and has the danger of a sub, but the beauty and elegance, aswell. It can glide unseen through the waters but still be a killing machine.
  • "The malevolent aged grin."- Highlights that the pike has human qualities and is able to feel joy from killing. The pike enjoys killing and will continue to do so
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The Cockroach

  • "At first he seemed quite satisfied to trace."- The cockroach is thinking and feeling. The person is feeling as though the cockroach is making conscious decisions to act and that it is human behaviour.
  • "The victim of a mild attack/Of restlessness that worsened over time."- The cockroaches procrastination becomes more apparent over time. It appears to be bored and unsure whta to do. It moves erraticly and the onlooker feels it becomes more agitated throughout
  • "Was this due payment for some vicious crime."- The onlooker feels moved by the hopelessness and obvious distress of the cockroach. It makes him wonder what he has done in his life and could it lead to this. He sees being a cockroach as a punishment for a really bad crime.
  • "A former life had led to?"- This is the first indication of reincarnation and the onlooker is obviously questioning what a person must have done to be a cockroach. A cockroach is low down on the animal pecking order and he feels that a persons punishment might be from another life, where there soul has committed a brutal act.
  • "I thought i recognized myself."- He is thinking of his own life and the relationship between his life and the actions of the cockroach. He sees a pattern and begins to think about what might happen in the future....he is curious and scared.
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The City Planners

  • "What offends us is/ the sanities."- This already implies that everything is too perfect. The sanities are too perfect and have no faults,which make them more personal. She feels everything has been placed to look good and have no emotional connection with anything.
  • "Assert levelness of surface, like a rebuke."- It is certainly frowned upon to have any unordinary and uncontrolled thing about you. This is such as the dent in a car or paint on a wall. This is seen as the people being socially outcast and the constant control of the area makes them feel punished.
  • "Cutting a straight swath in the discouraged grass."- Even the natural order is controlled. This is more concerning as nature is normally uncontrollable, but here it is managed. It is more intimidating to control nature rather than man made things.The grass is almost being punished for growing and not being at a constant height.
  • "Paint on brick surprising as a bruise."- The idea of the area being changed and appearing unplanned is painful. They feel physical pain at the idea of difference. Dictatorial place with all the control.
  • "Momentary access to....the future cracks in the plaster."- There are some faults that cannot be fixed and there will always be some problems. As the area grows more isues will be revealed that arent controlled, to reveal and new, realistic landscape.
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The Planners

  • "They plan. They build. All spaces are gridded."- The area is controlled almost by an enemy. He refers to them as "They" to illustrate that they are separate and he is against the order and control. He also delivers short, sharp sentences to portay anger at his inability to control this.
  • "The seas draw back and the skies surrender."- He feels that they are such a force, that they will even defy nature when building. He is implying that they're destroying nature when they are building over it. It makes them sound evil and destructive and makes the reader feel for his area, which is being damaged. Not natural and all man made.
  • "All gaps are plugged/ with gleaming gold."- They are able to remove any gaps by building with new things. He is implying the economically driven people are causing there to be no space....metaphor with the gold teeth used in false teeth.
  • "It will not hurt/so history is new again."- The people are able to change others and continue to develop over older places. It is constant reconstruction that the people are oblivious too. He implies that the people are beingnumbed to the destruction and building. They are also being controlled.
  • "My heart would not bleed...to stain the blueprint."-  Cheng is making a political complaint that poetry, speeches and even war wouldnt change their views as theyre so focused on changing. They dont listen and it is dictatorial.
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A Different History

  • "Here, the gods roam freely/disguied as snakes or monkeys,"- There is alot of cultural differences between the Indians and the British. There is more than one Hindu god and therefore they feel that the British are trying to impose a new culture upon them.
  • "Turn the pages gently....without offending the tree."- The Indian cuture is a lot more respectful and it would be better to leave the culture alone. The intererence by the British is not respectful and the change in culture is rude and offensive. They shouldnt force a change in culture but try to get along normally.
  • "Which language/Has not been the oppressor's tongue?"- The oppressor will try to reeducate and change the Indian people. They will want to introduce their own language so they are able to communicate and be able to get along. They are trying to alter the culture and deny the Indians their freedom.
  • "Long scythe swooping out/ of the conqueror's face."- They are implying that the British will use violence and force to try and control the Indians and that they are trying to change their face. They want to alter their view and try to make them more British, but this is implying pain and some discomfort."
  • "The unborn grandchildren grow to love that strange language."- She feels that the next generation will not by appreciative of how they have fought and will be very much accepting for the British. She is scared for his country's history,culture and survival
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Where I Come From

  • "People are made of places. They carry with them hints."- The writer is first establishing her opinion that wherever you are from you can be shaped by your environment. She is saying that you can be affected by your past and that all people will therefore be different.
  • "A tropic grace or the cool eyes of sea-gazers."- People are able to pick up traits and adapt and there is alot of different things that people are able to change.
  • "People carry woods in their minds."- The people will always belong in one place and they will quite literally carry mental traits of that place. It is about the way people are affected by their surroundings both as a child and later in their adult life.
  • "A door of the mind blows open."- The mind will always invite many new ideas and can always relate them back to a past memory and be accustomed to nostalgia.
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  • "It is not possible to get off to sleep or the subject or the planet."- The writer is distracted and feels as though his mind will not switch off. He appears slightly distressed and this may be linked to another problem in his life.
  • "Bright clouds dusted (query) by the moon."- This shows that the work is a draft and is not perfect. It shows that the poet may not be fully aware of what he is doing. This may be a first draft and the poet is not fully awake.
  • "A long moment stretches, the next one is not on time."- The moments cannot be late but as the writer feels in such a calm yet alert state, he appears to feel as though his mind is not as quick as it could be. He shows signs of his imagination wandering off and that he may be near to sleeping.
  • "Turn on a bare heel."- This makes the person seem vulnerable as they have left the protection of their own house and have wandered into the dangers of the night. As he is not fully clothed, the reader begins to feel as though he may be in trouble or not fully aware of what he is up to....sleepwalking.
  • "Paces me back to bed,stealthy in step."- The stealth makes the reader think that it isnt the first time he has slept walk as the father figure seems to be impatient bet still loving. It confirms that he is sleepwalking.
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