Let’s start

Dear girls, off we go with this project.  We will learn a lot from each other and we will get to appreciate poems from writers from all over the world.  I tried to choose poetic productions that somehow can promote the free expression of your ideas, feelings, insight, etc.  and this is what poetry is meant for, isn’t it?   It breathes inside our mind and body, it moves the "chords of our emotions" ,  it inspires us and makes us see things through different lenses.  It promotes a whole new experience of a particular event.  Thanks in advance for all the things you are going to teach me.  We will have fun together (hopefully) because we will be able to express our opinions without feeling judged.  This is a blog, do remember.  Nobody is judging anybody.  We are only expressing ideas which become good food for thought for all the others. 

The poem you are going to read does not present either the title or the name of the author.  Is the writer a man or a woman in your opinion?  What do you think the title of the poem could be?  Where does the writer come from?  Mind you, try to substantiate your answers, try to explain why you are claiming certain things.  Don’t throw things there just for the sake of writing something. 

(for a Caribbean island man in London who still wakes up to the sound of the sea)
Morning
and island man wakes up
to the sound of blue surf
in his head
the steady breaking and wombing
wild seabirds
and fishermen pushing out to sea
the sun surfacing defiantly
from the east
of his small emerald island
he always comes back                            groggily   groggily

Comes back to sands
of a grey metallic soar
                                             to surge of wheels
to dull North Circular roar

muffling muffling
his crumpled pillow waves
island man heaves himself

Another London day

Though not all of you have replied to the questions I posed last week, here I am going on with the analysis of this beautiful poem.  Are you all ears?  Or better, should I write, are you all eyes?  Well, the title of the poem is "Island Man" (1984) and it was written by Grace Nichols (she is John Agard’s wife, last year we read his famous poem "Half-caste.  Do you remember it?).  So some of you were right in their assumptions.  I congratulate with you.  Now, let’s hone our skills and let’s try to read this poem "more deeply".  You all got the gist, that is the difficulty for a Caribbean immigrant to live in an urban environment and his need to find a way how to accept the different reality surrounding him.

What do you notice regarding punctuation?  What marks possible divisions in the poem?  We know that punctuation and the lay out of a poem play an important role, since they add meaning to it. 

The nostalgic tone of the poem is built through the contrast between the "emerald island" and London.  The colours of the island contrast with those of London.  What are these colours?  What sounds did the man hear on his island? What sounds does he hear in London?  Do remember the relevance of the langauge used by the poet.  The use of language that appeals to the senses adds value to the poem. 

In "sands of grey metallic soar" a word belonging to the semantic field of Nature, "sands", is used in conncetion with "metallic soar", an expression which evokes an industrialized urban setting.  The two semantic fields are connected through "grey", which could refer both to the sands of an island and to the overall colour of London.  Find two more examples of words used metaphorically in this second part of the poem. 

The island man wakes up from his dream of the emeral island to find a different reality.  Which words in lines 11-19 express the effort and unpleasantness of waking up to "another London day"?

 

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37 risposte a Let’s start

  1. anonimo scrive:

    The author might be the wife of the Caribbean man whom the poem is about: she(?) tells about the waves on the pillow when he wakes up, then she describes the moment he goes working and his foreign origin. so this misterious author must be someone who knows very well the man of the poem and his feelings. I think that this woman is from England, because she doesn’t share her man’s feelings.

    Mav

  2. canda98 scrive:

    Mav, you might be right, but what can you tell me about the language used by the writer. Are there any aspects of the language that make you think the writer is a woman?

  3. anonimo scrive:

    Because of the inscription written before the poem a think that the writer is a woman that wrote it for her husband or somebody that she loves and from here a perceive an affective way to write. I think that the writer is English because from the description of London’s streets and traffic I can infer that she knows very well this city. The title I would give to this poem is “Island man in London”, because the protagonist of this poem is a Caribbean man who lives in London.

    *Ale*

  4. canda98 scrive:

    Dear Ale, you did a good job, but let’s try to refine your thoughts. You find the language “feminine” in the sense that it reveals sensitive feelings towards a man who is obliged to live in a context he does not consider “home”. Are there any other aspects in the use of the langauge that can support your theory? Try to make the title shorter. Poems are generally characterised by short, sometimes even cryptic titles. Reread the poem and let the words transport you. What else can you write about them? What is their effect on them? How do they speak to a “female reader”? Do you think there is a “female”/”male” way of writing poetry? This is food for thought. Bye for now.

  5. anonimo scrive:

    I think that the writer is a woman, because she describes a man who goes and returns from the work and also because of the dedication at the beginning of the poem. In my opinion the writer comes from an island of the Pacific ocean but now lives in London and feels nostalgia for his/her home. I would give to the poem the title “Dream” because the protagonist dreams his native land every time he awakes.

    Paola

  6. anonimo scrive:

    The poet is probably a person who has a close relationship with the “island man”. I think he/she lives in that island, or at least he/she has lived for a long time there; long enough to be able to describe the sounds you can hear weaking up. The “island man” maybe wrote a letter to the poet describing his different life in London, talking also about the North Circular (that is maybe why the poet knows it). The title could be “waking up still dreaming”, because the “island man” wakes up every morning thinking about the sounds of his native land, so not hearing the sounds that sorround him in reality, but just imagining them. The poet, in my opinion, is a man, a friend of the “island man”. A woman, maybe, would have used different images, more romantic ones and wouldn’t have said “grey metallic soar”: I think it is a more masculine language.

    Jess

  7. anonimo scrive:

    I know that the “speaking I” and the author of the poem not necessary are the same person but I think that only who comes from this Caribbean island or who had a long experience there, could describe feelings, sounds and imagines of this place. So, I think that the author could be the “island man”; a man and not a woman beacuse when I read this poem and especially the onomatopoeic words I imagine this man at the North Circular which catches this sounds and he transforms them into words. I would give this title to the poem: “home, sweet and far, home”; the man now lives in London but every day, when he wakes up, he thinks and imagines his native island and he is homesick, he feels nostalgia for the sound of blue surf, for the wild seabirds, for the fishermen and for the sun.

    [Marghe]

  8. anonimo scrive:

    I think that the way the writer describes how the protagonist of the poem wakes up, the waves on the pillow, his dreams is so detailled that she has to know him very well. The title could be “Man in London”.

    I think that onomatopeics makes the reader think to be the protagonost and so to see the same thingns he sees, to dream the same things he dreams and to hear the same things he hears. The writer makes me, as girl, thinking of love and how she loves somebody that has a different background from her own background and how she tries to understand his feeling. I think that when a woman writes about somebody she loves, she feels like a mother so she tries to enter in his or her psychology and she writes using a tender language but when a man writes about somebody he loves, first he describes what he loves about he or she, and does it in an impulsive way.

    *Ale*

  9. canda98 scrive:

    Dear Paola,

    Thanks for your considerations. Yes, I do like your observation about the inscription at the very beginning of the poem.

  10. canda98 scrive:

    Dar Jess,

    I loved reading your considerations, they reveal insight. Well, I am a bit skeptical as to your idea of what is “feminine” and “masculine” writing. But this is just a personal consideration of mine. Do you realize that by not giving you any reference to the author or by not providing you the title of the poem, you tend to ask yourself questions about the poem that you wouldn’t otherwise? I think this project will do all of us good. We will learn tons by this experience. See you and keep writing. I love reading your thoughts.

  11. canda98 scrive:

    Dear Marghe,

    I like the title of the poem. It is very effective. As to your comments on the poem, I think you understood what it is about. So keep on reading, so that you’ll see whether your anticipations are right or wrong!

  12. anonimo scrive:

    i think the author is a woman. not only for the way of saying things, but also because of the pint of view from which she sees fishermen going out to sea; traditionally women stay on the seashore looking at their men while leaving to sail.

    i don’t know where the author could be coming from, i just think she lives a situation that makes her feel not well..it could also be a disease, this could just be a way of saying that she’s not ok, as if she was a carabbean man, used to live in a wonderfull world, and now forced to live in a way he doesn’t like, and didn’t want, to.

    for the title of the poem…i don’t know, i am really not good in giving titles! i thought it could be “another london day”, as the last verse of the poem, but it is quite a hopeless title, that is why i don’t want to think this is the real one… i find the poem is not hopeless, because, even if it is only in his dreams, but the carabbean man every night goes in his carabbean island and feels well, even if life is not as beautiful as he was used to…

    to me it is a wonderfull poem.

    ps: sorry for my late.

    l’el

  13. anonimo scrive:

    Sorry for not writing before I just got the chance to do it.

    I think the writer of this poem has an incredible ability to draw the scenery of the poem by using very effective words.

    I swear, every time I read this poem, I can see everything in my mind! And most important I can see it through the island man’s eyes, because that is the purpose of the poem, to make us understand the hard displacement from a heavenly island to a grey city. And what better way to do it then showing us the protagonist’s point of view??

    I wasn’t sure if the writer of the poem was a man or a women but I knew it was someone who was really close to the island man! The reason why I wasn’t sure about the writer’s gender is because I think when human beings express their inner feelings they all do it in the same way!

    Obviously there are some people that express their feelings in a better way than others but I don’t think it depends on the gender.

    I noticed that there is no punctuation and this is pretty strange because we all know that a good writer should use punctuation correctly, but I think

    Grace Nichols didn’t use it on purpose. Maybe because she wanted to show us how the island man feels every time he wakes up in London. She is revealing us the man’s feeling of lost for living in a country that does not belong to him!

    And the missing of the punctuation emphasizes this…because without punctuation we are lost too; we don’t know were we have to stop, were a sentence ends or if there is a question or a statement!

    So I guess she wants us to identify with the protagonist.

    Regarding to the unusual layout I think it was created like that on purpose; it seems like the writer wants to lead us from the emerald island to London. The passage though, is not sudden or abrupt instead harmonious and slow. The reason why I think that, it’s because “groggily groggily” and “to surge of wheels” is written more distant than the other sentences. And if you take a pen and follow the poem’s layout till the end you will see that you drawn a wave and I think, that wave is the same wave from the pillow and the man’s Island.

    This poem appeals to the five senses but most of all to the sight!

    As I said at the beginning this seems more like picture than a poem because the language is very accurate. The main colours of the poem are without doubt the blue, emerald and grey. As a matter of fact those are the two colours that best express the opposition between the Caribbean Island and London.

    But then there are other colours that came to my mind, most when the writer writes about the island, for example when I read “seabirds” I think of the white, when I read “sea” the light blue, when I read “sun” the yellow and so on.

    On his Island, the man hears the sound of the blue surf, the steady breaking and wombing wild seabirds and fishermen pushing out to sea.

    Instead in London he hears the noise of a surge of wheels.

    In lines 11-19 the words that express the unpleasantness of waking up to another London day are: groggily groggily, grey metallic soar, dull, muffling muffling, Another.

    The last line of the poem is presented as the harsh reality; the fact that she wrote “Another” with a capital letter means that the man perceives London as a big mountain that separates him from his dear sea.

    izzy

  14. anonimo scrive:

    Dear l’el, (what sort of nickname is this? Quite puzzling, because I don’t know who you are!)

    I like the final considerations you wrote. Yes, you are right, it is not a poem about hopelessness. I agree with you there. What I do not quite agree with is “claiming something about a poem without backing your assumptions up with something really mentioned in the poems”. It is important that at this stage we pay careful attention to the text, and then we can make all the assumptions we want, but still, you need to substantiate them with “quotes” from the text.

    You do not have to worry about deadlines. I do understand you do not all have internet access at home, so take your time. What I am happy to read is that you really enjoyed the poem. This blog is just a nice, cosy, private corner of our literature classes I love sharing with you. You are the protagonists, I am just a sort of facilitator. I don’t know who is writing, but you know when I am writing to you and you know that the one who poses the questions it’s me! See you in class.

  15. anonimo scrive:

    Dear Izzy,

    I am really very happy with what you wrote. It is amazing the things you can see in a poem, isn’t it? It is just something realizing that every single element (pucntuation, capital letters, etc.) have meaning in a poem. That’s why a poem is line an iceberg. The tip of it, what you can see on the surface is just part of the “whole” meaning. Underneath there are so many layers of meaning that the more you read the poem the more interpretations you can give to it. I certainly appreciate all your comments. I loved reading your comments and some are very insightful. So I am pleased your classmates can read you. Isn’t this blog just AWESOME (American for great, brilliant, fantastic, terrific)

    Keep reading this blog and keep writing. More interesting poems will come (hopefully you’ll like and appreciate them). 🙂

  16. anonimo scrive:

    hi I’m so sorry but I can’t go on net every day but I promise I’ll write as soon as possible. I really like this poem so I have many things to write. Sorry 🙂

  17. anonimo scrive:

    I’m sorry for late but I can go on net only ones a week..

    however..for me the autor is a woman, who is a little bit melanchony. The sound of words is sweet and so remember me the female sensibility. But I have no idea about the title of the poem, maybe could be “Another London Day” but..I don’t Know. The writer comes from a Caribbean island and she wants to dedicate the poem to a friend, a relative or someone else, who doesn’t llive no longer to the island.

    Sorry again

    Jolly

  18. canda98 scrive:

    Dear Jolly,

    You seemed very tentative in your answers, but as you can see from the extra information I added to the poem, you answered the questions correctly. It is interesting that the sweet words, which are certainly connected with the nice dream, REMIND you of female sensitivity. You do not need to apologize if you cannot reply to my questions promptly. I do understand that some of you do not have Internet access. Love reading your observations. Keep writing, you are on the right track!

  19. anonimo scrive:

    In this poem the author doesn’t use punctuation and the layout is unusual too. In my opinion the reason is that in the first 11 lines the man dreams, and when a man dreams (and he feels happy and free) his feelings and thoughts run fast in his mind: the first part of the poem focuses on this mental condition; language is simple, positive and easy, the layout is regular.

    But then, the man wakes up and he begins “climbing”, “struggling”, “trailing along” and the poem follows his steps;it goes to the right and to the left (for example on the line 14); he must also bear the burden of his race and he must stop because he is tired (and also the poem stops for a moment); and at the end we notice that his difficult life is comparated to a mountain (“Another “is curiously written with the capital letter).

    The contrast between London and the island is made also by colours: the island is blue, like the ocean (blue surf) and like the sky (seabirds fly), white, like the foam of the waves, yellow, like the sun and at the end, green like man’s hope. Aso the sounds are positive: there are the sound of the sea, the call of the birds, the voices of the fishermen: this is the soft sound of Nature.

    London, instead, is ruled by grey and black like the asphalt cement and the wheels but it is also the colour of the man’s sad feelings. London is “muffling”: there are too many cars, too many people, too many innatural sound bacause London people has left behind the nature.

    The great metaphor in the second part of the poem is “pillow waves”: the pillow is wrinkled because the man has slept over but the use of word “waves” reminds the island’s landscape, so the pillow is full of dreams like a painter’s canvas.

    The words that express the mans uneasyness are “groggily” (the man feel ill and tired), “circular” (it represents a life without an aim), “muffling” and “dull” (the man can’t get used to london lifestyle).

    Tizzy

  20. anonimo scrive:

    In this poem the author doesn’t use punctuation and the layout is unusual too. In my opinion the reason is that in the first 11 lines the man dreams, and when a man dreams (and he feels happy and free) his feelings and thoughts run fast in his mind: the first part of the poem focuses on this mental condition; language is simple, positive and easy, the layout is regular.

    But then, the man wakes up and he begins “climbing”, “struggling”, “trailing along” and the poem follows his steps;it goes to the right and to the left (for example on the line 14); he must also bear the burden of his race and he must stop because he is tired (and also the poem stops for a moment); and at the end we notice that his difficult life is comparated to a mountain (“Another “is curiously written with the capital letter).

    The contrast between London and the island is made also by colours: the island is blue, like the ocean (blue surf) and like the sky (seabirds fly), white, like the foam of the waves, yellow, like the sun and at the end, green like man’s hope. Aso the sounds are positive: there are the sound of the sea, the call of the birds, the voices of the fishermen: this is the soft sound of Nature.

    London, instead, is ruled by grey and black like the asphalt cement and the wheels but it is also the colour of the man’s sad feelings. London is “muffling”: there are too many cars, too many people, too many innatural sound bacause London people has left behind the nature.

    The great metaphor in the second part of the poem is “pillow waves”: the pillow is wrinkled because the man has slept over but the use of word “waves” reminds the island’s landscape, so the pillow is full of dreams like a painter’s canvas.

    The words that express the mans uneasyness are “groggily” (the man feel ill and tired), “circular” (it represents a life without an aim), “muffling” and “dull” (the man can’t get used to london lifestyle).

    Tizzy

  21. anonimo scrive:

    In this poem there isn’t punctuation, which could create confusion. I think I prefer the poem without it. There are divisions in the poem marked by the spaces between the strophes and also by some words, which are displaced on the right of the poem: for example “groggily groggily” (line 11) and “surge of wheels” (line 14). The absence of punctuation creates a sense of uncertainty and makes me think of the Caribbean man who doesn’t feel at home and has no points of reference in the new country.

    The “emerald island” and London are in contrast, this is emphasized by the language which appeals to the senses. For example the sight reveals different colours. The colours of the island are: the blue of the waves (line 3) and the emerald green of the island (line 10). The colour of London is the grey of the streets (line 13). Than the sense of hearing reveals different sounds. In the island the man hears the steady sound of slow breaking waves. In London he hears the steady noise and the sudden increase of wheels. The only sounds he can hear are dull and muffled sounds.

    In the second part of the poem there is a word used metaphorically: “waves” (line 17). It can be interpreted in different ways, maybe the Caribbean man dreams the sound of the waves of his island. Maybe the waves are the folds of the crumpled pillow.

    In lines 11-19 there are some words which express the effort and unpleasantness of waking up to “another London day”, for example: groggily groggily (line 11), muffling (lines 16), crumpled pillow (line 17), another (line 19).

  22. anonimo scrive:

    Sorry! I forget to write the name! I sent the message at 19.28, a few minutes ago, and I am Paola.

  23. anonimo scrive:

    Sorry for the delay of my answer, but I had some problems with my limited organization’s ability!

    So, I’ve really liked the poem! It emits a feeling of sadness and regretfulness that completely involves the reader.

    When I read the poem I can draw every single picture in my mind and I can cherish the illusion of my real being on the beautiful “small emerald island”: I think that only a good writer can have the power to make the reader feel the protagonist of his/her own work and that’s why I think that the author, through the masterly choice of words, wants us to identify with the “island man”, to whom the poem is dedicated.

    When I first red the poem, I thought the writer was a woman..now I can see that I was right!

    I like to think that the poem is a sort of love message dedicated to “a Caribbean Island man in London” by a woman, who probably is in love with him and who had to bear the suffering of a sudden separation from him.

    So, in my opinion, the poem is the author’s way to keep in her mind a clear memory of her beloved, who lives a new, repetitive and “grey” life in London; a man who she’ll never embrace again.

    I think that, through the poem, the writer gives voice to her heart’s words.

    I also noticed that the poem can be divided in two sections: the first ( from line 1 to 10) is a recollection of the man’s past; the writer appeals to the sense of sight through the use of incisive (breaking, wombing, defiantly…) and “sweet” ( blue surf, small, emerald..) words; the “small emerald island” is like a little part of Heaven, in which the man used to live and to be happy: the writer describes it as if she is a mother who watches over her child.

    In the second section (from line 19 to the end) we can see the man living his new life in London: the idea of repetitiveness is given by the use of onomatopoeic (groggily groggily; muffling muffling…) and “grey” (metallic soar, wheels, roar..) words.

    It seems that the man lives without emotion: he has lost his hopes, he’s like a robot, who lives without any expectation.

    Since there is no punctuation, the passage from the past (symbolized by “the small emerald island” ) and the present (symbolized by London) is a little bit sudden because, as the man wakes up from his dream, the reader is suddenly transported from the beautiful and celestial island’s landscape to the greyness of London’s streets.

    At the same time I think that the lack of punctuation is a writer’s precise strategy: since she considers the reader as the protagonist of her own work, she wants him/her to find his/her own way through the poem; but she gives him/her a little hint: if we follow the poem’s lines with a pen we draw a “snake” and I think that it symbolizes the sinuosity of the poem itself: the passage from past to present is sudden but the poem in its complex has a sweet and winding course, like an old lullaby.

    The contrast between the “emerald island” and London is built in a very perfect way: as I said, the language appeals to the senses, especially to the one of sight, that’s why the colours in the poem are very important: they give consistency to the man’s feelings.

    The main colours are blue and grey: both witness the opposition between past and present.

    So, for example, when I think about the “small emerald island”, I imagine a beautiful, celestial beach lighted by the sun; a crystalline sea and many “wild seabirds” that circle in the sky; but when I think about London (in this contest) I can only see a tangle of streets, myriad of cars, haste, frenzy, repetitiveness…a very sad picture!

    The main feeling throughout the poem consists in the effort and unpleasantness of waking up to “another London day”: the writer gives evidence to this kind of mood in line 11 to 19 in which she uses words that highlight the feeling of “not-belonging” that bounds the man to a city in which he is forced to live.

    The man considers London as an impassable mountain which separates him from his dear island and which doesn’t give him the possibility to be happy again.

    At the end he will realizes that his “small emerald island” will remain only a dream and that he has to bear “Another London day”.

    Smarty

  24. canda98 scrive:

    Dear Tizzy,

    Your analysis of the poem is just awesome. I love your subtle observations and your in depth analysis. The reference to the unnatural sounds the speaking eye is subjected to, the sense of an aimless morning approaching, the state of uneasiness we, as readers, may feel towards the burden this man has to carry every day: these observations of yours are really to the point. I find your consideration about “Londoners having no sense of nature”. Be careful, you are reading beyond the lines here. The poem does not state that people in London have neglected nature. If you claim so, then, you need to substantiate your view with lines/words from the poem.

    I loved reading your analysis, that for sure!

  25. canda98 scrive:

    Dear Paola,

    you are right in observing that the way words are displayed on the page (you refer to the lay out of the words on the right margin of the poem) adds meaning to the poem itself. The effect of stressing the anguish of the man is also reached through the absence of punctuation. His dreams cannot be “controlled” by any commas, or fullstops or any other punctuation mark. Keep writing, your ideas are really worth reading.

  26. canda98 scrive:

    Dear Smarty,

    You are really SMART, really bright and intelligent. I don’t know who you are and this allows me to express my opinions more freely. I was really taken aback by the deep analysis you have been able to write. It seems that this poem has really triggered what I expected: it involved all of you so deeply that you felt the need to read it over and over again. And the more you read a poem the more you get to “see”, “perceive”, “hear” new things. Sometimes you tend to be too carried away in your analysis, for example when you say that the poetess is in love with this man and she will never embrace him again. Here you added something that is not stated in the text, that you imagined. With poetry “guts” reactions are fine, but then we really need to support our response with something really stated in the lines. However, if this poem made you phantasise a lot about the poetess and her partner, then I am happy.

  27. anonimo scrive:

    hi!!! I’m in late I know..I’m very sorry but last weeks my web connection was k.o..

    Well, as far as this beautiful poem is concerned, I noticed that there’s no puntuaction in it; the divisions are marked by spaces and pauses, as we can see in line 10. This technique in my opinion gives more strenght to the poem: the poem is less fluid and so it expresses the cruelty of the life of the Carribean man in london.

    There are in the poem a lot of contrasts between the colours of the island and that of london: the island is blue (the sea), yellow (the sun) and emerald, while London is represented by the grey, the colours of roads, cars, roars, wheels and pollution. As far as the sounds is oncerned, in the island the man used to wake up with the sound of blue surf, with the singing of the seabirds and the songs of the fishermen; in London instead he wakes up with the metallic noise of cars, wheels and roads, a “grey metallic soar”.

    The examples of words used metaphorically are “surge of wheels” , that associates a word belonging to the semantic field of nature, “surge” with a word that evokes the world of the city and ” crumpled pillow waves” .

    The word that expresses the effort and unpleasantness of waking up to another London day for me is the verb “heaves”, bacause in my opinion throught it we can understand his sense of anguish for every single morning in which he wakes up.

    -Sepy-

  28. anonimo scrive:

    At long last I’ve arrived..! I’m always busy…So I’ve read with great attention the poem “Island Man”; I like it because he/she expresses maybe the homesickness when he/she lived in this “perfect” island: yes, it arouses a sensation of perfection, nearly of paradise. In my opinion the author is a woman that describes the remote life of a man who now can be her husband or however a man who she loves.

    This memory lives in the Island man’s hearth; “the sound of blue surf” resounds still in his mind; the “sun that surfaces” every morning “ from the east of his EMERALD island” appears still in his eyes.. These are memories that the man but an ordinary man brings in his heart.

    At the end appear three words that emblematize the beginning of another day in London, a big and chaotic city, where maybe the protagonist lives his melancholy.

    The onomatopoeia “ groggily groggily” is a symbol of the man’s condition and it’s very original..

    These poems from different cultures have enrapture my mind because they speaks about conditios where many people live or can’t survive. So I thank very much Prof.ssa Ziraldo for the opportunity that She gave us. Ele

  29. anonimo scrive:

    the title coul be: “The dream”

    In my opinion this poem is a poet’s dream.it is the wish of a man who wants to go away from the reality. the protagonist is soffocated by his everyday life. I understand this, throug the use of sentences like: “the sound of blue surf in his head” or “muffling his crumpled pillow waves”. he wants to let the readers know his wishes and his homesickness of his past life. The only way to do this is: the immagination and the dreams. The man need to relie on dreams. There is a slight sadness in remembering old times in serenity and probably going back to the past.

  30. anonimo scrive:

    I think that the blank verse between the 11th verse and the 12th verse divides in two parts the poem: in the first part the man dreams of his island, then in the second part he wakes up and find himself in London. Within this verse there is an auditive and visual contrast: the emerald island and the blue sea are stifled by the grayness of the city; the sounds enphasise the differences between the relaxing atmosphere of the island and the stressing life of London: the “steady breaking wombing” produces by the waves contrasts with roars of wheels and deafing noises of machines. Besides, the poetress uses many words metaphorically. For example “wild”: she describes the wildness of nature, the wake of birds near the sea and the blue surf in opposite to the artificial “grey metallic soar”, i.e. the adjective “wild”, referred to the city, alludes to the traffic jams in the North Circular. Also the word “waves” is used as a metaphor: it refers to sea around the island, but also to his crumpled pillow in London. The annoyance of the man can be noticed in the verse 11-19, because in this part, describing the city life, the poetress uses words that have a strong sound and they contrast with the sweet words referred to the island.

    cristy

  31. anonimo scrive:

    The author doesn’t use punctuation but she puts the words in a very strange place, some words are on the right (line 11 and 14), that suggest us the restlessness of the Island Man.

    There is a clear contrast between the sounds and the colours of the Emerald Islan and those of London, for exemple the blu of sea is in conflict with the metallic grey of the wheels. To underline this contrast the writer uses a lot of images, that appeals to the five senses; this descriptions are in two different parts of the poem: in the first part, from line 1 to line 11, the author gives a description of the island and the feeling of the man, then she compares this to the vision of London.

    The Island Man, when he wakes up, instead of the sound of the sea he hears the noise from the street and he sees the dull “North Circle road” instead of the seabird and the fishermen.

    The turbolent feeling of the man are also reproposed (I’m not sure that this word really exists, probably it is better use return..) in lines 11-19 where the speaking-I realise the monotony of the days in London.

    Jolly

  32. canda98 scrive:

    Dear Sepy,

    First of all I want to point out that it is not a problem if you do not manage to write promptly. It does happen that computers do not work or that you have plenty of homework to do, so you cannot update the blog. This “space” is meant for our own enjoyment of literature, so I do not want any of you to feel frustrated. I just want you to feel the pleasure of writing about something that involves you deep inside.

    The verb heaves, as you try to point out, strengthens the idea of how difficult it is for this man to get up in the morning. He has to lift (metaphorically speaking) all the weight of his dreams and along with it the weight of a weary existence in a city which is depriving him of his Carabbean liveliness.

    I would not use the term “cruelty”, but hardship (perhaps) since cruelty implies that someone is doing something really bad to you. In this case there is no reference to somebody doing him harm.

  33. canda98 scrive:

    Dear Ele,

    Thank you for your positive feedback. It is important for a teacher to know that her students appreciates what she is doing. That way I know I am on the right track. These poems speak to us as human beings, they unveil realities otherwise unknown to us. We learn about peoples whose lives are hidden to us. What’s more, we see things through the perspective of people who come from or live in the country of interest for our poem. So we see things from the “margins” (I do not like this work, but is unfortunately used in literature) and not through “mainstream” dominant categories.

    You are right in saying that certain words mark important elements inside the poem (emblematize does not exist as a verb!)

  34. canda98 scrive:

    Dear Cristy,

    You are certainly right in emphasising, or better pointing out the relevance of the blank space between certain lines (blank verse is something different! remember! Shakespeare’s sonnets).

    I am happy to read that you noticed so many things about this poem. Keep writing when you can and keep reading (but just if it is pleasant to you)

  35. canda98 scrive:

    Dear Jolly,

    you can see from the poem that the layout of words plays an important role, it adds meaning to the poem itself. The contrasting images are another important aspect of the poem, you are right. You are also right when you question the existence of “reproposed” (yet I like the sound, unfortunately we cannot coin new verbs. If only we were poets, we had such a power we could reinvent a language!)

    Keep going you are on the right track!

  36. anonimo scrive:

    In my opinion the writer is a woman because the melancholy which is presented in the entire poem is typically feminine. I think the title of this poem could be: the Island. Reading the poem I underlined six principal words: “island, man, sound, blue, surf” and “his head”. On these words I based my interpretation of the poem. The writer wants the reader to identify with the protagonist. We know that he is a Caribbean man but now he lives in London. The writer wants to dedicate him this poem. London is a big, chaotic city and when the man isn’t sleeping he hears the noise of the cars, traffic, and people. But when he wakes up, at first, he doesn’t hear this noise he thinks to hear “the sound of the blue surf” and of the seabird. Hearing this sounds he has the impression to see his “small emerald island”. He imagines this landscape, the sea, the seabirds, the waves and his island because he is homesick, he would like to return home and he thinks at his childhood. But slowly he “comes back” from his island. London’s noise brings him back to reality. Before waking up, the island man, with his head on the pillow thinks it’s made of waves. This dream ends and the protagonist of this poem returns on his reality: this is “another London day”. In the poem there are also the contrast between the colour of the island (emerald) and the colour of the city (grey). The writer uses words that take us back to the sound of the sea (like: breaking, wombing sun surfacing, muffling, muffling pillow, waves,..) but also words which guide the readers to the noise of the city (like: groggily, groggily, grey metallic soar, to surge, …).

    _francy_

  37. canda98 scrive:

    Dear Francy,

    You wrote a wonderful analysis of the text. I am very happy to read that you appreciated the poem so much. It is interesting the way you proceeded in the analysis of “Island Man”. Hopefully the new poem will involve you as much as this one did. Keep on reading and writing. I love reading your comments! Hope to read you again soon. Cheers.