Piano and Drums Poem Analysis Essay

2085 Words Oct 19th, 2013 9 Pages
Commentary – Piano and Drums by Gabriel Okara In Gabriel Okara’s poem, “Piano and Drums”, Okara expresses his feelings and thoughts of a primitive society in contrast to a western society. Being an African himself, and having studied in a western society, the poem reflects the confusion in his emotions as well as the loss of self-identity. The title of the poem itself, “Piano and Drums” displays a sense of dissimilarity and contrast as the instruments are so unalike in terms of sophistication. Throughout the entire poem, Okara incorporates the instruments to further express, through music, how the speaker is feeling. By using well-structured stanzas and poetic devices such as imagery, symbolism, sensory detail, personification, and …show more content…
In addition, the “far-away lands/and new horizons” (20/21) illustrate the distance at which the speaker feels he is with the Western society. As the speaker feels so close to his roots and his native land, the Western society is foreign to him and, therefore, feels far away and distant. The new horizons just further emphasize the alienation he feels to be in that sort of culture where there are constant innovations and discoveries being made. This isolation is also expressed through the image of the speaker being “lost in the labyrinth” (23). Once again, the complexity of the labyrinth reflects onto the speaker’s view of the complexity of the Western world. However, as he feels lost in the labyrinth, it shows that he is not fitting into the society and feels uncomfortable. This especially contrasts with the comfort he feels in his mother’s lap in the second stanza. To add, in the last line, the word “daggerpoint” (25) strikes out to readers as the image of the dagger is strong. Even though the speaker displays the violence of the African natives, readers get the sense of the speaker viewing the Western society to be more violent in the sense that African’s kill animals to stay alive, but Western people use violence against other human beings which is unacceptable. Although, because of the primitive lifestyle, it seems to be that the

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