Meditation on Yellow by Olive Senior

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Meditation on Yellow

Olive Senior is a Jamaican poet who explores Caribbean history. Her poetry often conveys her displeasure of colonization and the suffering Caribbean people endured. Meditation on Yellow explores the colonization and exploitation process carried out by the Europeans. This poem strong conveys Senior discontentment as it relates to the exploitation of the land and the Amerindian tribe. It through the use of symbolism, language and repetition the brutality of colonization is conveyed. Symbolism is used to portray the harsh reality of colonization. In Meditation on Yellow "yellow" is symbolic of the innocence of the Amerindians and the purity in their mind and soul upon encountering the Whites. This is noted in the phrase " but we were peaceful then child-like in the yellow dawn of our innocence." The fact that these Amerindians had no idea of what was to come their way and that they offered the best of what they had to the Europeans makes this encounter even more sad and advantageous. Furthermore, yellow is symbolic of sickness and infection. This is reflect in the minds of the Europeans as it was infected with the yearning for wealth and power. Due to this "infection" the Amerindian we turned into slaves, the land was exploited and the Europeans began colonization. The use of symbolism conveys the extremes which these two set of people existed, the Amerindian being kind and pure and the Europeans being cold-hearted and greedy. Senior's use of language is certainly a powerful tool in expressing her displeasure as it relates to the enslavement of the Amerindians. Throughout the poem she uses sarcasm and humor which highlights her mocking and belittling of the Europeans. The phrase " had I known I would have brewed up some yellow fever grass and arsenic" is an example of sarcasm. In this phrase there is a contrast between the gesture of hospitality of ethnic which is the "fever grass" and the bitter sinister...
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