Discursive Written Analysis of Wherever I Hang by Grace Nichols and Reflections by Mario Petrucci

Reflections. Mario Petrucci.
On first looking at the two pieces I have chosen, the preference of dialect fluctuate to a great extent, giving each poem a dissimilar insight to the dialect to each author. In Wherever I Hang, the idiom is of a native tongue to the Caribbean, with its seemingly imperfect sentences.
‘Had big rats in de floorboards’

V1 Line 5
Where as Mario Petrucci has used Received Pronunciation, giving the reader more complete sentences.
‘Bees will sting like a razor’
V1 Line 1
The vocabulary in Petrucci’s Reflection is uncomplicated to read although every line is a metaphor, proficiently put together to make the reader observe each line in detail. While also generating a number of connotations in each line, giving the reader room for thought. A good paradigm could be gained from almost every line, but the fourth line is most apt.
‘Hills as old as hats’
V1 Line 4
It isn’t until one hears this that the thought of hats sat on top of a wardrobe or on shelves in hatboxes, comes into realization of the accuracy that this one sentence becomes clear, giving the line a conceit of its own. On the other side of the scale is Grace Nichols Wherever I Hang, which although clear in its context, can be hard to read if the accent is not known.
In the first line there are repetitive determiners with the word use of ‘me’ three times.
‘I leave me people, me land, me home’
V1 Line 1
Also in this line the writer uses a repetition of nouns with no pre or post modifiers. This could be because the writer is generalising her whole life, and the world she knows rather than saying her family and friends. Also it must be taken into account of the fact this is a Caribbean poem and family and friends could be more thought to come from a European writer and would distort the poem, bringing to much plain English into the first verse, rather than it all being in the second, when she is changing from one culture to another.
‘And is so I sending home photos of myself’
V2 Line 1
Within the first line of this rhyme, Nichols has used a repetition of nouns and reiteration determiners to emphasise just what she has given up to come to a new land. Possibly giving the reader the vehicle of travel and a new country and the tenor of a lack of feeling of belongingness.
‘Divided to de bone’
V3 Line 2
This poem shows a big distinction in the cultures that Nichols has become in contact with, ‘de sun’ along side ‘De misty greyness’. Although one must note that this is a connotation of how the writer sees the two different countries and may not be how a visitor to the Caribbean or a born English person may see the variation. Nichols has used antonyms to empathise the difference in each place. The vast array of bright colours of the ‘Humming-bird’ and ‘de sun’ compared to the dull grey ‘pigeons’, ‘snow’ and ‘cold’ of this new wonder land. Also Nichols has given the reader a possible alliteration to show how that Nelson’s Column is higher than most things she has encountered before.
‘I see Lord Nelson high-too high to lie’
V1 Line15
This is also ambiguous sentence as the word lie can be taken to mean that Nelson is to high to lie down or to high to lie to anyone.
Nichols gives us a representation of the life she is leaving, with ‘de sun’ and ‘de humming-bird spendour’ giving the reader a image of hot happy days, where as Petrucci’s verse is more a reminder of things that are responsibilities to most people. ‘A nut, tough as a tax form’. The two poems contrast each other with the life they portray, until fifth line in verse two of Wherever I Hang.
‘I begin to change my calypso ways’
V 2 Line 5
Here is the change in the poem, from the leaving of a home to come to what the writer has considered a dream country. This is the point that the author starts to become like the people in the land she now lives and take on their lifestyle. But this is also where the writer looses a lot of her homeland traditions and the divide starts. Nichols gives the reader different time ps but has written the whole piece in present tense. The effect this gives is the reader embarking on a journey through the poem with the writer. With her use of a metaphor ‘They solid to de seam’, an alliteration on the ‘p’, ‘people pouring’ and a simile ‘Like beans’, Nichols is pushing the reader to realize how different this feels to someone who has never felt or seen things like this. This poem has a non- repetitive rhythm that is filled with personal nouns with the use of ‘me’ and ‘I’; it also has no punctuation.
Petrucci’s Reflections on the other hand, is a blank verse pentameter, with use of copular verse and all written in future tense. The writer has used words like ‘will’ rather than ‘is’ to give the reader the hint that the poem is about something that will happen in the future, almost saying its impossible to avoid.
‘The air will be clear as glass’
V1 Line 2
The whole poem could be considered to have a connotation meaning, in which it is the view of how the author sees things in life, even though it has no narrative. In the second verse, line one there is a possible alliteration within the metaphor.
‘Trees will be sturdy as girders’
V 2 Line 1
One could pick out of this poem the subject, verb and object of every line, with a few added fillers to make the whole piece make sense, right up to the last but one line. Here the pattern is broken and the fourth line in verse three is not a metaphor. This could be to express what the possible tenor is. The Internal rhyme differs in this line also, unlike the rest of the poem, which has iambic pentameters in every line.
‘And the button, that big red button’
V3 Line 4
This could be taken in two ways, which is what the writer could want from the reader. One could be the threat of nuclear war and the fear of the Red Button that hangs over our heads, giving it an elegy. But another meaning could be linking the final but one, line with the final line of the poem. Petrucci could be using the old metaphor bright as a button, but replacing it with child to express the cycle of things, as in the whole world starts again, and so do the metaphors within the last line.
‘as bright as a child.’
V4 Line 1
This is not the first time Petrucci mentions people in his poem.
‘Clockwork regular as citizens’
V2 Line3
This line gives the reader the picture of people rushing to work or where ever in the rat race, which could be joined with the same line, giving it an ambiguous meaning. The rat race could be also taken as mice, as they are from the rat family. The mice could be also meaning from the nursery rhyme hickory dickory dock, and the mouse that ran up the clock.
In the second verse of Nichols ‘Wherever I Hang’, we are given a high level of co- ordination with ‘And is so’ used in three lines, almost to show the reader that the change in the writers ways in inevitable. The dialect that is used in this second verse has changed to some extent to what is considered more English with the word ‘I’ instead of ‘me’, which is continually used in the first verse. Although the Caribbean word use is still present with the occasional use of ‘me’ and ‘de’.
‘And waiting me turn in queue’
V2 Line 8
The sentences are more complete in this verse, rather than ‘At first I feeling like I in dream’, (V1 Line 8) the writer is using more English dialect than her native dialect, ‘I begin to change my calypso ways’ (V2 Line 5). The whole of Nichols poem has many personal pronouns, unlike Petrucci’s, which has no personal pronouns at all.

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