A Comparison Between the Poetic Techniques Of Ferlinghetti & Afrika

A Comparison Between the Poetic Techniques Of Ferlinghetti & Afrika
Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Tatamkhulu Afrika both have very effective poems. Both of which are written to state some form of inequality or discrimination. There are distinct and hidden similarities and differences between the two. These are going to be highlighted in this report. As mentioned before, both are talking about certain inequality or discrimination; however there are two main differences:
1. One poet is talking about racial issues (Afrika), the other about democratic issues (Ferlinghetti) 2. Afrika has a clear view point as he has been subject to the discrimination mentioned whereas Ferlinghetti is just stating what is happening Both of the issues written about were (and still are) key problems all over the world, which contributes to the poems? success, as everybody can identify with it. These poems are technically fictional, but the truth behind the moral of them adds a genuine realism. In ?Nothing?s Changed? (Afrika?s poem), the tone as a general rule is very accusative and extremely opinionated. This is because the author is writing from his own experiences (he is black), almost in an autobiographical sense, and hence it is written in first-person form. He is in a way a spokesman, a representative for all black people that are discriminated against, which is shown in the poem by using ?we? in line 26, ?we? referring to black cultures. In contrast, "Two Scavengers in a Truck. Two Beautiful People in a Mercedes" (Ferlinghetti?s poem) is written in third-person, as if he is an observer of the scenario described in the poem. Also, Ferlinghetti is writing a lot more factually, and isn?t blatantly opinionated, however there may be something hidden within it. Those are the main differences. However, there are other differences that are present: Ferlinghetti?s poem is taken from a freeze-frame, basically meaning that a moment in time is taken, like a snapshot with a camera. Afrika?s poem, in a way; describes a journey, and is continually moving on, explaining the frames as they come and go. One of the most obvious ways in which these poems differ, is the way in which they are structured. ?Nothing?s Changed? uses a reasonably standard format of stanzas consisting of a ?few? lines. Although, these line amounts vary, with one stanza as short as two lines. This is conveys a punch line, short and snappy to get a point across, as its sudden appearance takes the reader by surprise, and makes it intriguing. Ferlinghetti?s poem seems rather less scripted at an initial glance, as there are lines sticking out all over the place, seemingly randomly. This structure backs up the idea that Ferlinghetti acts as an observer of the freeze-frame and is jotting down what he sees, also because of the fact that this technique makes it look like the description and the detail is being piled into it. In terms of language, this is where the two are; in my opinion, more similar than contrasting. Both of them use a plentiful array of figurative language, such as similes, metaphors, onomatopoeias and assonance. These methods are very common in all types of creative writing, as they add vividness and/or emphasis to what they are writing about. Each provides masses of detail, allowing the reader to build an image of the scene in their mind. Adjectives are everywhere throughout the two pieces, again contributing this idea that if successful, will give the reader more than enough to put themselves in that position, and understand what is going on, without any illustrations or any alternate visual aids. They both convey the idea of opposites in their words, jazzing up one side, whilst completely degrading the other, which raises a contradictory point, that Afrika was physically in his story, whereas Ferlinghetti was assumingly writing about it from a distance. This is contradictory because it has just been mentioned how they are similar in the way they explain the two opposites, yet Ferlinghetti; in theory, is not supposed to be opinionated. To disprove this, you look at his poem closely, and see that when he seems to take sides with the rich people, he uses a subtle reversal, for example: Lines 6-7: ?â??looking down into the elegant open Mercedes? This is referring to the ?scavengers?, and it is implying that they are looking down on the ?beautiful people?, which is a paradox, as in society, the latter are much higher up. I believe this is an attempt to balance things out. All in all, it is clear that both are writing to make the inequalities of this modern world more obvious, but they are doing so in different ways.

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