The Richest Poor Man In the Valley Poem Analysis and The Buffalo Poem Analysis Essay
In this essay I will be dealing with two poems. ” The Richest Poor Man In the Valley” and ” Buffalo “. I will analyse both poems content, ideas of the poet, the overall mood and atmosphere and mechanical structure. In the final part of this essay I will be comparing both poems, looking at the similarities and differences in mechanical structure and overall content.
” The Richest Poor Man In The Valley ” is about a man who loves the outdoors. The man is a farmer and each day on the hillside his dog brings down the sheep from the top of the mountain.
However, the man eventually dies and at the funeral friends and family are upset and his demise. The poet definitely has some ideas he wants to get across, the choice of the title ” The Richest Poor Man In The Valley ” seems to suggest that the poet believes wealth and material possessions are of little significance and people can be very happy without wealth, if you have joy, happiness and good friends. You could be the wealthiest man in the world but inside you could be a cold and miserable man, however likewise you could be living in desperate poverty but be rich in warmth and kindness. While inside his heart was fat with sun “.
To take the poem from face value, you would get the impression it was rather unpleasant and depressing ” he was living in a caravan until the day he died “, ” his face was like a weather map full of bad weather “. However to me the poem is a celebration of the man’s life: although on the outside the man looked old and frail, he was warm and kind and was able to use those gifts to touch people’s heart and spread a little joy throughout the world: ” his friends tears fell like a thousand diamonds”.
The poet uses the man in the poem to symbolize everything that is right in the world, people who are not corrupt, greedy and always want to have more ” money, houses bank accounts and lies” but people who are kind and gentle and use there abilities to help to change the world. I especially like the phrase ” money, houses, bank accounts and lies ” suggesting that wealth and material possessions are just what people use to cover up problems they have in there life such as depression or grief and feel by buying possessions they are dealing with there problems but in the long run are just making the whole situation worse.
I really like the phrase ” while his heart was fat with sun “. I love how the poet uses the sun to symbolize joy and happiness and the adjective fat not to describe the man’s weight, but the size of his heart. I love how the poet compares the face of the man ” to a weather map full of bad weather ” perhaps suggesting in the kindest way that he was not physically attractive or easy on the eye or maybe the bad weather describes the wrinkles on the mans face from old age. I really like how the poet describes ” his friend’s tears fell like a thousand diamonds ” Diamonds contradict every idea of the poem on wealth and material possessions.
The diamonds falling from the eyes of his friends are more precious that any stone money can buy, showing that warmth and kindness touch people. As The Beatles once sang ” Money can’t buy you love. ” Buffalo is about a small broad man, who fought in World War One and came out unscathed. The man is a hard worker, who loves to tend to his allotment and live life to the full. The man unfortunately eventually dies. The poet has a couple of idea’s he wants to get across, such as don’t judge a book by its cover.
Most people who saw Buffalo Jenkyn for the first time probably would have been intimated and frightened by his physical presence, “He’d have braked a riot. On the contrary, Buffalo Jenkyn is a gentle man who cares for all of gods creatures and rather than destroying the world he wants to keep it to be able to see it flourish and grow ” Music, the noise of things growing “. Also I believe the poet wants to get across the idea that everyone matters and every life is precious, people who have the ability to make a difference is this world will be sorely missed when they eventually perish ” Leaves a whole in the universe “.
Finally I believe the poet tries to teach people respect and tolerance for everyone be there religion, physical appearance or social class, everyone is equal. To take the poem from face value, the poem would seem rather sad, a lonely man, who has little to nothing ” Lived bottom of Trelawny Street with a slat thin whippet “. However the poem is rather a celebration of life, the man did not have a lot of money but lived his life to the full, teaching respect and tolerance to everyone, which to me is far more valuable than gold, silver or any precious stone, as they are priceless and no amount of money can buy them.
I love the phrase ” Buffalo Jenkyn “. A buffalo is a big strong animal so to describe a man as buffalo gives us the impression that Buffalo Jenkyn is a strong, well built man who can look after himself. Also I like how the poet gives Buffalo Jenkyn a kind of indestructible, unstoppable force ” The Shrapnel bounced off him “. Most men who were hit by shrapnel would have been killed or badly injured but Buffalo Jenkyn has some superhuman qualities unlike other men around him.
I really like the phrase ” Marred about it like a mass priest “. Mass is one of many sacraments in the Catholic Church, a big celebration and remembrance of Jesus Christ. Like the Catholic Church celebrate Jesus, Buffalo Jenkyn celebrates the growth of his plants in the allotment. I love the phrase ” Two shiny cats, trailed him as if he were St Jerome “. St Jerome in many biblical images is seen around animals. The cats believe Buffalo Jenkyn is a Saint maybe because of the way he treats and looks after them and other living creatures.
Something that really interests me is how the names of three holy books are all on one line ” Bible, Koran, Bhagavad-Gita “. To show that each religion is equally important and one is not more superior than the other and that people should show respect to people of a different faith and try to understand them rather than being intolerant and ignorant towards them. ” The Small Gardner ” is Buffalo Jenkyn’s Bible or Koran. All the holy books centre around a story of how the world was created much like the small gardener, which tells us about the world god, has created for us.
I really found the phrase ” I see him making the Fiddlers Bitch “, Buffalo Jenkyn obviously enjoyed a drink now and then and his idea of heaven was to sit in a pub where he could have a good old drink. I really like the phrase ” Leaves a whole in the universe, the universe is a vast space which goes on forever and so for a tiny insignificant man to be able to leave a visible whole in the universe suggests obviously that the man was special and that the world would be a worst place without him.
The Richest Poor Man In The Valley ” is written freely and does not obey a set of rules and regulations like a sonnet or a haiku. The layout of the poem is highly irregular, the length of each line and verse varies and capital letters are used during the middle and at the end of each sentence instead of at the start of each sentence. Buffalo is far more structured a obeys a set of rules, The layout of the poem is fairly regular, as each verse is six lines long and most are of a similar length.
Buffalo has a far more conversational tone and in some places it is not grammatically correct. Buffalo Jenkyn is far more of presence than Harry physically and can use this to strike fear into his enemies and the people around him but he doesn’t and is rather more gentle and simple like Harry. Both poems centre around the idea of death, a man perishes in each poem. But both poems celebrate life and how precious it is and how you don’t need money to live a happy and full life.
Buffalo teaches us the idea of respect and tolerance towards everyone and not to pre judge people because of their physical appearance or their religious beliefs. Buffalo in some places is humorous ” I see him making the Fiddlers Bitch “, but ” The Richest Poor Man In The Valley ” is far more serious and is trying to send a message to people that wealth is insignificant, Buffalo is far more about the celebration of life and encouraging people to live life to the full and witness and cherish all of gods creation before you die as life is fragile and can be given and taken away in a flash.
In both poems the men are surrounded by animals, both men look after there animals well, treating them with respect like the way we should treat the people all around of us Both poems try to show how each man will be sorely missed and that the world will be a worse place without them. Each poem shows that warmth, kindness and respect cannot be brought, and more precious than any stone, money does not buy you friends or respect, warmth and kindness does. Neither man was particularly wealthy but they still managed to live a happy life, wealth is not the most important thing after all.