"An Old Woman" by Arun Kolatkar and "Nothing's Changed" by Tatamkhulu Afrika.

Topics: Poetry, Rhyme, Stanza Pages: 4 (1246 words) Published: November 23, 2003
Chose to or more other cultures poems you have studied. How do the poets present the theme of protest?

'What else can an old woman do?'

'We know where we belong'

These two quotes, the first from An Old Woman by Arun Kolatkar and the second from Nothing's Changed by Tatamkhulu Afrika, both seem to show a sense of abandoned protest and although the poems are from two very different cultures the theme of protest is clear in both.

An Old Woman is about an old Indian woman who follows a man just for a fifty paise coin. Kolatkar depicts the old woman's protests with poverty and age. In Nothing's Changed Afrika writes of his protests with the whites and segregation as a black person in South Africa. He tells of how District Six was destroyed to make way for a brash and misplaced white restaurant. An Old Woman focuses on the Indian culture, while Nothing's Changed looks at the American culture and race.

In this essay I will attempt to show the similarities and differences between these two poems, highlighting how the poets have presented the varying themes of protest.

The title An Old Woman doesn't really suggest much about the poem except that it is about an old woman. It has a very narrow focus, as now the poem cannot be about anything else. As we already now the poem has some form of protest in it we can guess the protest is with age. However the title Nothing's Changed has a much broader focus, it's very negative and connotes that something was bad and still is, because nothing has changed. It suggests that the poem has no progression.

In both poems the first statements use hard, aggressive words to describe how the 'small round hard stones click' and the 'old woman grabs hold of your sleeve'.

The first, from Nothing's Changed, is very hard to say and sounds quite harsh, and the use of onomatopoeia helps the audience to imagine the rough surroundings. The second, from An Old Woman uses forceful verbs such as 'grabs hold' to suggest that she...
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