Compare and Contrast The Two Poems "Island Man" and "The Fringe Of The Sea"

4786 Words Nov 27th, 2002 20 Pages
Compare and Contrast The Two Poems

"Island Man" and "The Fringe Of The Sea"

I recently read two poems entitled "Island Man" and "The Fringe Of The Sea". They are both similar in theme, but they also have many differences. Both poems are based on the emotions of people who live near the sea and their feelings towards it. This theme relates to both of the authors, and connects them; the author of "The Fringe Of The Sea", A.L. Hendricks, was born in Jamaica and later in life moved to Britain. Grace Nichols, author of "Island Man", was born in Ghana and then also immigrated to the UK.

Grace Nichols' poem "Island Man" is about a Caribbean man who lives in London, but still longs for his home and the sea. The poem follows the man as he wakes
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These lines use enjambment for the effect of the lines flowing into each other to make it seems like the sea. The first half flows smoothly, as does the second half, except for the final word. The letter "S" is used in both halves to bring them together - to remind the readers of Islands Man closeness to the sea. The letter "H" ("head") is a break from the "S's" and therefore the rhythm is lost. The third line ("to the sound of blue surf") has alliteration of the letter "S". The sound of this letter is very much like that of the waves to remind the reader of the sea. To insure that this comes across to the readers there is emphasis on these letters. There is also an emphasis on the word "head" here to make the readers realize that it is only in Island Man's head, as he also realizes the truth.

The fourth line uses two verbs, which have internal rhyme to make the line flow

easier (breaking and wombing). The first verb "breaking" suggests the repetitive and steady breaking of the waves on the Caribbean sands. More evidence of this meaning the waves is the fact that the line says "the steady breaking and wombing" which clearly illustrates the waves motion. The second verb "wombing" is derived from the word "womb"; therefore this connotes warmth, maternal love and family. Island Man would connect all of these with his home, and he would connect
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