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Mountain Child poetry analysis

By Karmine12345 Feb 27, 2014 560 Words
Poetry Analysis: Mountain Child
The contemporary, free verse poem ‘Mountain Child’ is written by the Santali poet Nirmala Putul in 2004. She is native to the mountainous city of Dumka within the state Jharkhand, India. This poem is a powerful piece of literary text which cleverly explores the issues of the impact of technological advancement on nature and traditional lifestyle and, the simplicity and security of life in the mountains. Putul has skilfully interwoven several poetic techniques and generic elements such as repetition and imagery throughout the poem to further emphasise these important thematic concerns. The poet uses personification and the extended metaphor of mountain imagery to comment on the impact of technological advancement on nature and traditional lifestyles. The intentional repetition of mountain imagery is reflective of the cyclical nature of the environmental processes. The consistent reiteration of ‘the mountain’ gives the whole poem a smoother, more rhythmic structure, despite its free verse form. The structural form conveys a calm and serene tone to readers, but this is significantly disrupted in the last two lines by the mechanical symbolism of the plane, which is representative of how advances in technology have corrupted the smooth flow of nature. These last few lines also show how technology can resemble nature, yet the mountain child cannot distinguish between the two, displaying the innocence and purity of this environment without it being polluted by modern developments. The poet’s personification of the mountain by describing its ‘feet’, ‘lap’, and ‘scurrying’ nature implies to readers that the sub-text of the poem is about feelings and experiences that are inherently human. Furthermore the image of the mountain, a natural landform which has developed over time, is metaphorical of the way in which cultural traditions and customs also change, develop and grow through the course of time. However, in this instance the plane is perhaps, then, representative of people’s fear of modern influences tainting their old habits. Putul’s application of certain poetic devices such as a simile and religious allusions throughout the poem is effective in emphasising the simplicity and security of traditional lifestyle in the mountains. The constantly restated reference to the ‘mountain child’ represents how the larger, older mountains, could be symbolic of a maternal figure. By the use of lines such as ‘plays in the lap of the mountain’ the presence of a motherly character in the traditions of the mountain lifestyle is further stressed. In addition, the poet has used allusions to religious aspects of life throughout the poem to` highlight Eastern beliefs and customs spiritually denoting mountains as roads to success. These beliefs are figuratively represented as the pathways to an important goal or ambition in the simile ‘to rise like a mountain’, to further emphasise the culture of this region. This form of sensory imagery is employed to draw attention to the concept that the mountain child is metaphorically able to grow until it has reached the peak of existence or achieved an ultimate objective. In conclusion, the most important concepts addressed in this poem are the effect of technological progression on nature and traditional way of life and, the simplicity and safety of life within the mountain environment. Putul has utilised many generic and poetic techniques throughout her poem to further establish her intended messages and effectively communicate to the audience the gentle, free nature of the mountains.

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