Student Village Academy Forums STUDY HELP STANZA BY STANZA ANALYSIS OF THE POEM GRIEVED LANDS OF AFRICA

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    • #41965
      justseyi
      Keymaster

      1st stanza

      The poem’s first stanza begins emphatically with “The grieved lands of Africa.” The poet persona here identifies the suffering and hardship that Africa and her people endured, affecting them with incalculable “woes” and sorrowful experiences. This manifests as “ancient and modern slave(ry).” The term “ancient slave” refers to the typical African kidnapped by European slavers and transported across the Atlantic to foreign lands to work as slaves on plantations in inhumane conditions. In this context, the “modern slave” refers to the African man who has been stripped of his rights and is governed by people from other countries in his own country. While the “ancient” wave is known as slavery, the “modern” wave is known as colonialism.

      STANZA BY STANZA ANALYSIS OF THE POEM GRIEVED LANDS OF AFRICA

      2nd stanza

      The poem’s second stanza is dedicated to colonialism and modern slavery. It also begins with “Africa’s Bereaved Lands.” This stanza demonstrates how African lands were colonized forcibly using “the wickedness of iron and fire.” The superimposition of foreign systems “crushed” the pre-existing African systems. While the poet is explicit in identifying “iron and fire” as a symbol of modernization, the periphrastic statement, “the wickedness of iron and fire,” refers to the superior firearms and ammunition used by Europeans in securing territories on the African continent, and with which several atrocities and brutalities were committed against the African populace.

      3rd stanza

      This stanza follows the repetitive pattern of the previous two stanzas in that its first line is a repeat of the first lines of the previous two stanzas. The third stanza picks up where the second stanza leaves off. It reveals how European colonisers maintained colonial rule and how they reacted vehemently to any challenge, no matter how feeble, to their continued administration of African lands. They persecuted the challengers, imprisoned them, and sometimes killed them. While fighting for his country’s independence, the poet was imprisoned.

      The poem continues, “the dreams soon undone in the jingling of jailer’s keys.” When the bearers had “the jingling jailer’s keys” as a barrier between them and the realization of their dreams, their dreams rotted away. Those on the outside were afraid of being imprisoned. There was no complete happiness, as evidenced by “stiffled laughter” (what kind of man is happy when he has become a slave in his own land?) and “voices of lamentation” that filled the air.

      4th stanza

      The poem deviates from the first line repetition for the first time. Perhaps this represents a shift in the poem’s mood. In this and subsequent stanzas, “the grieved lands of Africa” is replaced with the third-person plural pronoun “they” and its variants. There is also the use of “us” in this stanza and “we” in other places. This implies that this poem contains two entities. The first is Africa’s bereaved lands. The second is a new generation of Africans who are aware of their heritage and the tragic experiences of their forefathers.

      The poet’s persona implies that Africa’s bitter experiences will remain “alive in themselves” as long as they (“with us alive”) are alive; as long as there are people to tell them. These atrocities are indestructible and “in the perpetual alliance of everything that lives.” There is no way to tell African history without mentioning the atrocities committed against an entire race. As a result, the victims of these atrocities will be remembered for the rest of the time. The painful memories endure.

      5th stanza

      Despite the many unimaginable things that had happened to Africa, “the corpses thrown in Atlantic/In putrid offering of incoherence/And death and in the clearness/Of rivers” “shout the sound of life.” Regardless, bereaved Africa cries out for life.

      “Life” may refer to independence, freedom, and liberty in this context. It may also refer to or include the willingness to outlive the painful memories. Whatever “life” means the grieved lands of Africa are unafraid to exude it despite the gory details of their past.

      6th stanza
      The poet persona creates a mental image of the kind of life that “the grieved lands of Africa” desire. One of the “harmonious sound of consciences/Contained in the honest blood of men”; lived in “men’s strong desire” and “sincerity/the pure and simple rightness of the stars’ existence.”

      This is a life marked by a sense of what is right and wrong, sincerity, and African consciousness.

      7th stanza

      The first line of the seventh stanza repeats the first line of the sixth: “They live.” This emphatic statement represents the determination to outlive an unpleasant past.

      The poet persona confirms what we suspected in Stanza 4: the poet persona and his/her contemporaries are Africans: “We… imperishable particles of Africa’s grieved lands.”

      After further consideration, one may conclude that Agostinho Neto’s The Grieved Lands of Africa is a comprehensive poem that chronicles the severe treatment received at the hands of people “of other seas,” noting the resulting grief.

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    • #41966
      justseyi
      Keymaster

      THEMES IN THE POEM THE GRIEVED LANDS OF AFRICA

      THEME SLAVERY

      THEME OF PAIN AND ANGUISH

      THEME OF COLONIALISM

      THEME OF OPPRESSION

      THEME FOR RESILIENCE

      THEME OF HOPE

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