Poetry of Different Cultures

We have studied two poems “Follower” and “STRONGMAN”. These two poems are from two different cultures “Follower” was written by Seamus Heaney from Ireland whilst “STRONGMAN” was written by Tony Curtis from Wales. Both poems share the same theme of a son’s relationship with his father. They both demonstrate two different ways of life.

The first poem “Follower” looks back at the work of a father from his son’s point of view. The title “Follower” makes you think of someone admiring another person or following someone. Also when I read the title “Follower” makes you think if there’s a follower then there must be a leader.The first stanza is written in past tense “worked”. It tells us the fathers occupation and know we realise the poem is written by the son. The second line “His shoulders globed like a full sail strung”.

This quote is a simile and a metaphor and, is describing how the father was a strong broad man, and also how his shoulders “globed” were rounded like a boat’s “full sail” when he worked with the horse-plough. Also it creates imagery, you can imagine the father with big muscular shoulders “Between the shafts and the furrow” this means part of the machine and dug out bits from the ground (soil). “The horses strained at his clicking tongue.” This implies that he is a skilled worker, as all he has to do is click his tongue and the horses strained for him.In the second stanza the son describes the father as “An expert.” That his skilled at what he does, his a professional because he knows what he is doing exactly, he is also proud of his father as he is very good at his job. “The sod rolled over without breaking.” This shows that his so skilled that he turns the soil perfectly in straight lines without making one mistake, this also shows how hard he has worked to become such an expert at his job.

In the Third Stanza, “the sweating team” This quote describes the horses hard at work, in the fields. “His eye narrowed and angled at the ground, mapping the furrow exactly.” This quote describes his father trying to get the plough fields exact and spending time to make it neat and accurate, it also shows how concentrated he was while doing his job and, how he was exactly mapping where he wanted the furrow to be.In these first three stanzas the son is talking about his father, describing what he does and how he does it.

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In the first stanza he talks about what is father’s job was and describes how his father looked for example “His shoulders globed like a full…

“. He also talks about how he was in control and the horses strained when he clicked his tongue. In the second stanza the son talks about how skilled his father was, how he could roll the sod over without breaking. In the third stanza the son describes how hard the father worked and how concentrated he was at mapping the furrow to get it exactly where he wanted it.The fourth stanza the son uses “I”. “I stumbled in his hob-nailed wake” He concludes that he was an annoyance as a child, “hob-nailed” are big country boots and, “wake” is like the waves.

“Fell sometimes on the polished sod;” this shows that again he felt like he was an annoyance to his father, “polished sod;” that he fell on the ground. Second sentence the sons describes how his father gave him piggy backs “sometimes he rode me on his back”. “Dipping and rising to his plod” the son also describes when he was a young boy, going up and down as he follows his father’s footsteps. The word ‘plod’ is also onomatopoeia. These two quotes create a very good imagery of the father and son.In the fifth stanza the son talks about how he admires his father and how he wants to be like him, following his footsteps “I wanted to grow up and plough, to close one eye, stiffen my arm.” The second sentence he says “All I ever did was follow” this quote creates a sad mood to the poem. The last line says “In his broad shadow round the farm.

” I think this means the son following the father everywhere he goes, miles and miles like a shadow.The last stanza is also written in past tense until second sentence “But today”. The first sentence the writer says “I was nuisance, tripping, falling, yapping always.” Now his father swaps places with him, it is the father who is a nuisance, tripping, falling and yapping.

The second sentence in the last stanza changes to present, “But today it is my father who keeps stumbling behind me, and will not go away.” I think is quote means that the father has gotten old and is stumbling after the son, it’s the father who now is being a nuisance.In these last three stanzas the son is talking about himself, describing how he stumbled after his father. He also talks about how he rode on his fathers back and followed his footsteps. In the fourth stanza the son describes how he stumbled after his father and how he fell and followed after him. In the fifth stanza he talks about how he admired his father, how he wanted to grow up and be just like him. He also creates a very sad mood to the poem by saying “All I ever did was follow”.

In the last stanza there’s like a role reversal when it’s the father being a nuisance and stumbling after the son.The structure of “Follower” is spilt into six stanzas. Each stanza has four lines each, the first three stanzas talk about the son’s father and the last three talk about the son himself. Also the pattern it’s structured in is the same as ploughing because ploughing has to follow a certain pattern.The style of the poem is written in past tense. The language it’s written in is informal and the style of the poem seems to be personal.There are a few imagery in this poem. For example in the first stanza “his shoulders globed like a full sail strung between the shafts and the furrow.

” Also in the fourth stanza “Sometimes he rode me on his back dipping and rising to his plod.” These two quotes give us a good image of what the father looked like and what the son did when he was younger.The mood and tone of this poem is reflective on the past.

The son wants to live up to his father, it’s a happy mood but sad too. It gives a nostallagic feeling.The Rhythm in this poem is followed like a pattern, like ploughing in a farm, it’s a steady and neat rhythm.

The stanzas are neatly in four lines and it follows the pattern like ploughing because ploughing has to follow a pattern and this poem also sounds like a pattern.The Rhymes in this poem are in every other stanza on the second and last line. For example in the fourth stanza “sod, plod”, also in the fifth stanza “arm, farm”.The second poem we studied is “STRONGMAN”. It also looks back on the work of a father from his son’s point of view. The title “STRONGMAN” makes you think of someone really strong and nothing is impossible for them.

Also when I read the title “STRONGMAN” I was curios why it wasn’t called “A STRONGMAN” and why it was all in capital letters.In the first stanza it starts of by saying “A strongman you say,” this is like a conversation, that we are allowed to hear. “Home from work would stretch his arms and hang his five sons from them turning like a round about” This quote is a simile and is describing the father coming home from work and swinging his children from his arms “like a round about”. Also it creates very good imagery because you can imagine the children being swinged around. The third sentence “A carpenter who could punch nails into wood with a clenched fist,” This quote is a metaphor. We now know that the father’s occupation is a carpenter and, he is described as really strong that he could punch nails into wood with his fist.

Also this quote creates an imagery of how strong the father is, also exaggeration is being used. “Chest like a barrel with a neck that was like holding onto a tree.” This quote is also a metaphor and a simile. It’s describing how strong his chest is, and a neck so strong and big like a tree. His chest is like a hammer big and round made out of wood and his solid neck.In the second stanza it starts of by saying “In the final hour” I think this means the final hour of his father’s life. “Your hands between the sheets to lift him to the lavatory” this quote makes you think that the father is lying in bed and he is very weak and he cant get up so the son lifts him up and takes him to the toilet.

It also uses imagery, you can imagine the son putting his hands under his father and lifting him up because his father is so weak. “Slipped under a frame of bones like plywood.” This quote creates an imagery of the son putting his hands under his father’s body and can feel his bones because of how weak his gotten that his lost all his weight. “No trouble – he said.” “No trouble, Dad – you said.”These quotes are both speeches between the father and the son.

The father feels like he is asking to much from his son, and that he seems to be annoying his son a lot. The last sentence says “And he died in the cradle of your arms.” This quote is a metaphor and creates an imagery of the father dying in his sons arms like a baby. This is a very sad mood to the poem, there’s a role reversal in this poem, in the first stanza the son talks about how strong and powerful his father is then in the second stanza its the son looking after his father because he has become so weak.

The structure of “STRONGMAN” is written in two stanzas both different length.The style of the poem is written in past tense. The language it’s written in is informal and the style of the poem seems to be very personal.

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