Nothings Changed Poem

547 Words3 Pages
Compare how places are presented in the poems Nothing’s Changed and What Were They Like? I am going to compare how places are presented in the poems Nothing’s Changed and What were they Like. These two poems are both writing about very similar places; places that had suffered oppression, racism and death. Nothing’s Changed is written about South Africa soon after the apartheid was lifted. The country had been in a state of segregation for a decade and as a result there had been riots and civil unrest among the blacks and fierce oppression by the whites, this was a place very like a warzone, which leads into the second poem What were they Like? This poem is set in Vietnam soon after the war. The country had been devastated by a bloody conflict with the USA which had resulted in an awful human cost. The USA also devastated the country with horrific weapons of mass destruction. The new weapon napalm was used to burn villages many lives in Vietnam were lost as they were in South Africa. Both countries were both ruins and its people were angry as is shown in the language of the two poems. Both these poems are full of bitterness. The black poet who wrote Nothing’s Changed uses a vicious irony “we know where we belong” to show that he feels blacks and whites will never truly reconcile. His pent - up rage is expressed again in the final stanza “ Hands burn for a stone, a bomb to shiver down the glass”. This shows the frustration of the place and, possibly, the loss of solidarity, the fears among his people. Afrika.s sense of injustice is powerfully highlighted with the effective imagery of the “purple flowering amiable weeds” and the nefarious “crushed white ice; the single rose” which he turns into symbol of white oppression. The ending is stark and poignant as he feels those old feelings of oppression as his hands burn for a bomb to “shiver down the glass”.
Open Document