Comparing Hurrican Hits England And Not My Business

1451 words - 6 pages

Comparing Hurrican Hits England and Not my Business

The two poems I am to compare are Grace Nichols “Hurricane Hits
England” a poem that shows that the whole world is one world and how a
storm reminds a Caribbean woman of home. The author obviously misses
her home country and feels it in the storm which she wrote about, the
violence of the storm is harsh and causes some damage. The second
poem, with which I will be comparing “Hurricane...” is Niyi Osundare’s
“Not my Business”. This poem describes the violent and horrific nature
in which the Nigerian Government treated those people who disagreed
with the state. It describes the pain and suffering they forced upon
these people and how the pain and suffering is then brought to the

This poem is about shared responsibilities and the way that tyranny
grows if no one opposes it. It is composed, simply, of three stories
about victims of the oppressors, followed by the experience of the
speaker in the poem, in which he has not done anything, but the fact
that he knows makes him a target. The poet is Nigerian but the
situation in the poem could be from many countries, there are words
used like “yam”, and the names of the people which tell you this. The
poem echoes, in its four parts, a statement by Pastor Martin
Niemöller, who opposed the Nazis. Speaking later to many audiences he
would conclude with these words, more or less:

“First, they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because
I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I
did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came
for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then
they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.”

In “Hurricane...” the central image is not the poet's invention but
drawn from her, and I’m sure other people’s experience. The hurricanes
that sometimes strike England as destructive storms really do bring
the Caribbean, and the weather and climate, to Britain - they retrace
the poet's journey from the west, and recall her own origins.

The wind travels across the sea to find her new home and remind her of
her old home. The wind is referred to as a “howling ship.” This
encourages the notion that it has travelled to find her. The word
“howling” is onomatopoeia and adds to the atmospheric depth of the
phrase and really makes the storm seem dark and mysterious.

The poem begins in the third person but changes in the second stanza
to a first-person view as the poet speaks of herself, and addresses
the tropical winds, this tells you of how violent the storm becomes
with words, . The speaker here could be anyone who has made this
journey, but Grace Nichols is probably speaking for herself in the
poem. The poem is written mostly as free verse - there is no rhyme
scheme; stanzas vary in length, as do the lines, though the first line
of the poem is a perfect pentameter.

The phrase,


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