Compare Neighbours and One Other Poem in Place

Topics: Poetry, Chernobyl disaster, Caesium Pages: 3 (889 words) Published: April 27, 2013
Compare the ways poets show the relationship between people and places in “Neighbours” and in one other poem from place. In the poem neighbours by Gillian Clarke, the narrator reflects on the effects of the Chernobyl disaster. At first she begins pessimistically describing the widespread damage, but then goes on to say how it made people come together to become “neighbours” ,ending the poem in a more hopeful note. In “Price we pay for the sun” by Grace Nichols, the narrator also starts pessimistically by challenging the stereotypical view tourists have of the islands. In comparison the narrator ends the poem in a more serious note by expanding on the poems title-poverty is the price paid by the islanders for the sun. In Neighbours, Clarke uses language to create a bleak and pessimistic outlook between the people and the place. She uses juxtaposition to convey the contrast between the innocent to something deadly. The quote “sips caesium” shows that the delicate action of “sips” is juxtaposed with “caesium”, a radioactive and poisonous heavy metal, to add feeling to the lamb’s plight; it doesn’t know that what it’s drinking might kill it. The idea is reinforced to the next image of the “child, lifting her head to drink the rain takes into her blood the poisoned arrow”. The “caesium” now becomes the “poisoned arrow”, the lamb perhaps represents innocence as with the “child”. The fact that the child is used as an image of innocence portrays the relationship between the people and the Chernobyl disaster. The people in this poem are known to be the innocent whilst the deadly disaster dominates them by deceiving even the children. However towards the end we see a more optimistic view between the people and place. In the 6th triad she says “Now we are all neighbourly… twinned to Chernobyl” perhaps this implies that the idea of “twinned” places is used as a metaphor for the way in which people and places are joined together. At the very end of the poem the poem writes...
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