Comparing Two Poems about Prejudice
The poems "Telephone Conversation", by Wole Soyinka and "You Will Be
Hearing From Us Shortly", by U A Fanthorpe are both about prejudice.
The former poem is to do with racial prejudice and the latter is to do
with social prejudice. The two poems are different in many ways. The
first poem is an application for accommodation and the second poem is
a job interview. Soyinka's poem is a Dialogue within a monologue where
as Fanthorpe's poem is just a monologue. Also the tones are different
the former poem has a shocking tone to start with but a mocking tone
towards the end, while the other poem is extremely rude. The
characters in the former poem are a white landlady and a black man and
the characters in the latter poem are an interviewer and a possible
interviewee the genders are unknown which helps highlight the fact
that this can happen to anyone.
The language in both poems is easy to understand neither have many
difficult words and only Soyinka's poem uses metaphors and similes.
The poems use questions for emphasis as well as for humour. In
Fanthorpe's poem the interviewer is very rude using questions, "Were
you educated? We mean, of course, Where were you educated?" but in the
former poem questions are used for sarcasm "You mean like plain or
milk chocolate?". These examples show how rude, funny or serious the
poets are trying to be. However rudeness can be shown in different
ways like by using Caesuras as is shown in these examples from both
either poems, "And how-
Much of a handicap is that to you?"
Or by using hyphens "Foolishly, madam -
By sitting down, friction has turned
My bottom raven...