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Piano and Drums

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by

Lauren Herbst

on 30 October 2014

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Transcript of Piano and Drums

Poetic Devices
Second Stanza
Jungle drums telgraphing:
how they communicate through music
Rugged:
having a roughly broken, rocky, hilly, or jagged surface
Innovation:
something new or different introduced
Concerto:
a composition for one or more principal instruments
Diminuendo:
gradually reducing in force or loudness
Counterpoint:
the art of combining melodies
Crescendo:
a gradual, steady increase in loudness or force.

Meaning
Summary:
In Piano and Drums Gabriel Okara shares his thoughts of a primitive society in contrast to a western society. He expresses his confusion and loss of self identity by being in between both cultures and the difficulties that come along with it.
And my
blood
ripples, turns torrent,
topples the years and at once I’m
in my mother’s laps a suckling;
at once I’m walking simple
paths with no innovations,
rugged, fashioned with the naked
warmth
of hurrying feet and groping

hearts
in green leaves and wild flowers

pulsing
.
first stanza
Piano and Drums
Background

Cultural terms/ Allusions
metaphor: beats of jungle drums - morse code
let's take a look
Piano and Drums
by Gabriel Okara

When at break of day at a riverside
I hear
the jungle drums telegraphing
the mystic rhythm,
urgent
,
raw
like
bleeding flesh
, speaking of
primal youth and the beginning
I see the
panther ready to pounce
the leopard snarling about to leap
and the hunters crouch with spears poised;
visual imagery: the potential engergy of the jungle ready to burst in to colors.
Third Stanza
Then I hear a
wailing piano

solo speaking of complex ways
in

tear-furrowed concerto
;
of far away lands
and new horizons with
coaxing diminuendo, counterpoint,
crescendo. But lost in the labyrinth
of its complexities, it ends in the middle
of a phrase at a daggerpoint.
*piano->wolf/animal/person
: personification,
*concerto is crying
: personification
Fourth Stanza (last & shortest!)
And I lost in the morning mist
of an age at a riverside keep

wandering in the mystic rhythm
of jungle drums and the concerto
.
*audible imagery:
African rhythm + Sound of piano coming from African jungle.
looking for poems
#1 Metaphor
#2 Imagery
#3 Personification

visual imagery
: red, pure, clean blood, healthy, passionate, energetic, warm

'The Sun Rising' John Donne
She's all states, and all princes, I,

Nothing else is.
Princes do but play us; compared to this,
All honor's mimic, all wealth alchemy.

William Wordsworth
'I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud'

I wandered
lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills
,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils
;

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson
“Have You Got A Brook In Your Little Heart”
Have you got a brook in your little heart,
Where
bashful flowers blow
,
And
blushing birds
go down to drink,
And
shadows tremble so
Musical Activity:
Bringing Audible Imagery to life
Main Topic We Chose
: Confusion between one's native culture and newly introduced recommended culture.
The first two stanzas represent the drum and primative cultures
When at break of day at a riverside
I hear the jungle drums telegraphing
the mystic rhythm,
urgent, raw
like
bleeding flesh
, speaking of
primal youth and the beginning
I see the panther ready to pounce
the
leopard snarling
about to leap
and the hunters crouch with spears poised;
And my blood ripples
, turns torrent,
topples the years and at once I’m
in my mother’s laps a suckling;
at once I’m walking simple
paths with no innovations,
rugged
, fashioned with the
naked
warmth
of hurrying feet and groping hearts
in green leaves and wild flowers
pulsing.

The third stanza represents the piano and the complex, westernized culture.
Then I hear a wailing piano
solo speaking of complex ways in
tear-furrowed
concerto
;
of far away lands
and new horizons with
coaxing
diminuendo
, counterpoint,
crescendo
. But lost in the labyrinth
of its complexities, it ends in the middle
of a phrase at a daggerpoint.

Vocabulary
Prevailing Theme
Clash of cultures
Culture shock
Loss of self-identity
Confusion
Story Board (SpatialVisual)
When at the break of day at riverside
I hear the jungle drums telegraphing
the mystic rhythm, urgent, raw
like bleeding flesh

I see the panther ready to pounce
the leopard snarling about to leap
and the hunters crouch with spears poised

I’m walking simple
paths with no innovations,
rugged, fashioned with the naked
warmth of hurrying feet and groping hearts
in green leaves and wild flowers pulsing

Then I hear a wailing piano
solo speaking of complex ways in
tear-furrowed concerto;

Of far away lands
and new horizons with
coaxing diminuendo, counterpoint,
crescendo. But lost in the labyrinth
of its complexities.

And I lost in the morning mist
of an age at a riverside keep
wandering in the mystic rhythm
of jungle drums and the concerto

Gabriel Okara
Gabriel Okara is one of the most influential African poets
Born in 1921 and still alive today
Born in Bumoundi in the Ijaw District in Western Nigeria
Gabriel Okara:
His poety is often based on:
Contrasts between symbols that are neatly balanced against eachother
Life and death experiences in his poems
Africans torn between cultures of the European Colonizers and their traditional African heritage
Self-identity
Simplicity of the past life and the complexity of the modern world
Background (Linguistic)
When at break of day at a riverside
I hear the jungle drums telegraphing
the mystic rhythm, urgent, raw
like bleeding flesh, speaking of
primal youth and the beginning
I see the panther ready to pounce
the leopard snarling about to leap
and the hunters crouch with spears poised;
The riverside is in Africa from when life was simple, before the Western Colonists took over
Drums represent traditional African life. When the beat of the drum is being "telegraphed", he means that Okara is no longer a part of the beating drum (his traditional culture). The drums are now memories that come back to him, and when they do, it brings out raw and fresh emotion in him. He feels lost with his self-identity, and the "beat of the drums" bring comfort to him, reminding him of his youth before Western Colonists forced their new and complex culture upon the native people of Africa.
The panther and leopard are Africa before it was untouched. The hunters with their spears poised are the Western Colonists getting ready to take over and change the simple lives of the native Africans. The fact that the panther and leopard are snarling and leaping shows the change that the Western Colonists had on Africa, because they forced them into their complex and new ways of life.
And my blood ripples, turns torrent,
topples the years and at once I’m
in my mother’s laps a suckling;
at once I’m walking simple
paths with no innovations,
rugged, fashioned with the naked
warmth of hurrying feet and groping hearts
in green leaves and wild flowers pulsing.
He is angry that his life has to change
He is reflecting on how simple life was when he was young and how he never had to deal with any big changes
Then I hear a wailing piano
solo speaking of complex ways in
tear-furrowed concerto;
of far away lands
and new horizons with
coaxing diminuendo, counterpoint,
crescendo
.
But lost in the labyrinth
of its complexities, it ends in the middle
of a phrase at a daggerpoint.
The wailing piano resembles the Western Colonists and their very complicated and complex ways of life. The native Africans are scared because they arent ready to make such big changes from their traditional and simple culture to a new and complex culture.
The drums create memories and images of hunting in a simple life style, surrounded by the natural beauty of Africa.
Gabriel Okara and many other Africans, are confused and lost. They are caught between their traditional and simple African culture and the new and complex culture of the Western Colonists and their modern world. They are having trouble in finding their true identity and where they belong.
And I lost in the morning mist
of an age at a riverside keep
wandering in the mystic rhythm
of jungle drums and the concerto.
Although it seems like Okara has already made the decision to follow the path of the drums, he still finds himself lost. He is filled with raw and pure emotion. He is wandering, looking for his identity and where he belongs, as the music of the two instruments play around him.
Piano and Drums is about when the Western Colonists took over Africa and forced their new and complex culture upon the Aricans. The native civilians of Africa were used to their traditional and simple culture, but when the Colonists push their modern world upon them, the Africans struggle to find their true identity and where they belong. They are facing culture shock.
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