“The Weeding Gang” and “They Walked and Talked”
“The Weeding Gang” and “They Walked and Talked”

“The Weeding Gang” and “They Walked and Talked”

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  • Pages: 2 (884 words)
  • Published: October 24, 2017
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The first poem is seen from the viewpoint of the poet, it’s his feelings and what he hears that is important, “I know”, “I hear” and “I love.” In the second poem the viewpoint is hidden, the poet doesn’t make it obvious that he’s watching these women, and this makes you forget that he’s describing a scene that he sees. Poem one is about a group of women going weeding, we can prove this because they are carrying cutlasses, “Cutlasses a-tingling”, and in addition the title is “The Weeding Gang”, while poem two is about “dames” returning from a “distant mart” with “baskets on heads”.

Similar to each other the two poems are set in a poor part of the world, I think that the first poem is set in a poor part of the world because they are using cutlasses which they wouldn’t be using in a developed country, and possibly it might have been in Africa because of the words, “Kheesaz and boojhowals” and also the poets name “C.E.J. Ramcharitar-Lalla”. I think that the second poem is also set in Africa because of the phrase “swept like a great Saharan wind”, and the Sahara is in Africa, also they have “baskets on their heads” and they have walked a long journey -modern transport is used to travel in the developed world.

The two poems are also set in the countryside because there is a silence in the first poem, (a town would be noisy). In the second poem, nature is mentioned in abundance, “croaking of the toad” and “the songs of the birds”.What’s similar to both

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poems is that they both portray women as doing nothing but talking and walking, reinforcing the old age belief that women do nothing but “gossip” and have “idle silly talking”. The first poem especially uses words associated traditionally with women, e.g. “gentle”, “saucepans”, “graces” and “charming”. These adjectives and words would not be used if he were describing men. The first poem describes women as “girls” and the second poem as “dames”, with the second therefore seemingly having more of a regard for the women.The two poets use onomatopoeia to create effects, Ramcharitar-Lalla uses it to reveal to the reader what sounds the gang and their instruments are making such as, “gentle humming”, “saucepans jingling” and “cutlasses a -tingling”. Alike Okeke also uses onomatopoeia to reveal to the reader what noises, the women are making, “They clapped” and “they screamed” and to describe the sounds of animals, “croaking of the toad”. In both poems onomatopoeia helps the reader realise what sort of noises the groups are making.

The first poem is in the present tense while the second is in the past tense. The first poem has rhyme patterns and a musical rhythm, (the rhyme pattern is A, A, B, C, C, B) in contrast the second poem is in free verse. The rhythm and rhyming of the first poem conveys the quick and jolly walking pace of the women, while the rhythm of the second poem seems to convey a long journey.In both poems the women have very foolish and non-serious conversations, “idle sill

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talking”. This suggests that the women are in a jolly mood and that they are happy in their work; if they were in a serious mood they wouldn’t be so foolish.The poet of poem two uses a lot of repetition, “They talked and walked, walked and talked….” The repeating of “not even” three times at the beginning of lines while comparing with the noises of nature reinforces how noisy these women are, and by implication seem to say that it is a natural thing for women to talk.

Using repetition also gives the feeling of how long the women have been walking. The writer also uses words like “They”, this suggests that he doesn’t know the women personally. The poet in poem one also describes the women as a group rather than as individuals.Similarly, both the poets are more concerned to describe the women rather then nature and the landscape, but C. Uche Okeke does mention nature a few times. ” songs of birds” but nature is used to describe to the reader how loud the women are, ” Not even the discordant croaking of the toad … were heard above the noise of these homing folk”.Both poets use every day language that most people can understand, “And also ease their walking” and “along the winding beaten tracks”. The first poem has two words that don’t belong to the English language “Kheesaz and boojhowals”- these words might belong to African culture.Both poets have a positive attitude towards the groups of women. And both use phrases like, ” I love to hear their charming melodies.” Although both poets admire the groups of women, C. Ucke Okeke criticises the women a few times, e.g. “wagging tongues”.My favourite poem is “The Weeding Gang” because of the regular rhyme and the musical rhythm. I also like the use of onomatopoeia to describe the sounds of the women, “cutlasses a-jingling”.

The poem also makes me feel happy because the happiness of the women rubs off on me. Although I preferred poem one, I did enjoy reading poem two.

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