Literature Form 5

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IN THE MIDST OF HARDSHIP
SYNOPSIS (OVERALL)
In this poem, the poet tells of the situation of a farmer and his family. They come back at dawn after being out in the floodwater for a day and night. They are looking for their albino buffalo. They come back wet and hurt but they do not show any despair. They have been born into a life of hardship and have never complained. Now, they are in the kitchen and they joke and talk while preparing to relax with a smoke.

SYNOPSIS (ACCORDING TO STANZA)
Stanza 1
They returned home at dawn and headed for the stove. Their clothes were soaking wet and tattered. Their bodies were covered with scratches and wounds. Yet, they did not display any signs of being worried. Stanza 2 They were out in the flood the whole day and night. They were surrounded by dead animals and parts of trees that had been destroyed by the flood. They searched desperately for their son’s albino buffalo but were unable to find it. Stanza 3 They were born into poverty and difficulty, but they do not complain about their suffer. Instead, they sit in the kitchen, cracking jokes while smoking cigarettes. SETTING

The setting of the poem is in the house.
THEMES
Stoicism in life
Family love
Acceptance of way of life
POINT OF VIEW
Third person pint of view.
MORAL VALUES
We should learn to accept problems in life with a positive outlook. We must attempt to face and solve problems.
Failure is part of growing up.
Do not despair in the face of failure.
LANGUAGE & STYLE
Language is simple and easy to understand.
The style is simple with no rhyming scheme.
POETIC DEVICES
Imagery – Gives picture of poet’s thoughts e.g ‘soaky clothes torn’ and ‘legs full of wounds’ Alliteration – e.g. ‘but on their brows’
Symbols – e.g. ‘horrendous flood’ and ‘bloating carcasses’ Diction – e.g. ‘stove’ and ‘brows‘

He Had Such Quiet Eyes
SYNOPSIS OF THE POEM
The poem is about a woman who has been deceived to think that she was loved by a man with ‘quiet eyes’. She suffers for this and only learns on hindsight not to trust or give in to men who seek women only for pleasure. The poet gives an advice on being able to recognise what is true and what is not, when a person is truly friendly and when he is not. You may lose in the game of love and give your heart away, but knowing the truth of the situation will mean that you will not suffer any lasting losses. UNDERSTANDING THE POEM

Stanza 1
The woman is taken up with his ‘quiet eyes’. The eyes mesmerise and beg her to ‘be nice’ to him and make him extremely happy, that is ‘render him paradise’. The poet uses a very long imagery of the eyes ‘breathing desolate sighs’ to enhance the effect of the eyes on the girl. The woman, being enamoured with those eyes, does not notice he is deceiving her. It would not be difficult to see through the man if the woman had her feet on the ground because the eyes have only the ‘thinnest ice’, easy to break through to learn the man’s true nature. Stanza 2

Something has happened to the woman and she has learnt the truth about the man. The poet suggests that she has learnt the hard way that is she learns her lesson through bad experience. She has made a mistake of trusting the man because she has refused to listen to the advice not ‘to compromise’, that is, lower her standards or expectations in order to please a man who seduces women. Stanza 3

The poet extends her friendly advice to women to understand what is meant by ‘nice’ what it means when men are ‘nice’ to you. When he is ‘nice’, friendly and pleasant to you, make sure that he is sincere and trustworthy and not because he has ulterior motive, that is he wants something from you in return. The poet further comments that love may be a gamble as suggested in ‘dice’, you take your chances with someone, you may find true love or you may not....
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