Literature differs among different people. There are those whose area of interest is poetry, short stories, novels and other literal genres. Once a reader reads the different literature articles of even books, one might get a different understanding from other readers. Poems holder deeper meaning and a reader has to ensure that he/she understands the message that the poets aim to deliver. Understanding the tone, themes and stylistic devices that have been used in a poem helps a reader in getting a deeper understanding of a poem. Some poems maybe discussing similar issues but different language, tone and stylistic devices are used. This paper compares two poems to show how they differ and their similarities (Wagner & Patrick 24).
The first poem is “White Lies” by Natasha Tretheway.The persona in this poem is a woman in her childhood memories where she remembers the lies that she used to tell. Imagery is the first thing that captures my attention when I start reading the poem, Trethewey has used different colors such as light –bright, near white, yellow and other colors to show the society in which she was living in.The colors do not only describe the lies, they also describe the poet who was born in a society with mixed races, it was a society where there were Canadians, Americans and also Africans. The writer sees the white society as a purified society, which is not the case, the “ivory soap” that her mother used, purify her lying tongue symbolizes true purity and honesty. The poem reflects the Trethway’s life; she was a black girl born in Mississippi but her skin color was light enough for her to deceive people that she was born white. There are many cases where people have to lie to fit in the society they are living in; racial discrimination has been an issue that many black people living in a white society have to cope with in life. “White Lies” reminds me of the moral obligation that I have in making every person feel appreciated (Kennedy & Gioia 680).
Monologue for a Onion
Monologue for an Onion is a poem by Suji Kwock Kim. The onion is a metaphor that is the main centerpiece of the poem. The poem is based on personification whereby the onion can speak; this is one of the key differences of this poem and “White Lies”. The themes in this poem differ from “White Lies” in “Monologue for an Onion” appearance and truth seem to be the main theme while in White Lies the main theme is the struggle for personal identity. Monologue for an Onion is a three-line stanzas poem known as trists. The person cutting the onion expects to find a different layer from the first one, which was peeled, but there is no change in the onion’s skin. The person being addressed by the onion represents the people who ignore the truth in pursuit of their desired truth. There is no irony in the poem ‘White Lies” but in Monologue for an onion” It is ironical that the person peeling the onion is looking for a core that is not there. It is a poem that mocks the human nature; human beings are creatures who struggle to seek an understanding of something that is so easy. It represents the ignorant that people have, they try to look for things they already have, and they however, do not realize that they have them until it is too late (Kennedy & Gioia 684).
The two poems present different ideas and themes, however, there ate styles such as repetition, symbolism and metaphors, which are common almost in all poems that have been used in the two poems. Through poetry, it is possible to address deep issues that face the society.
Kennedy, X. J., and Dana Gioia. "14." Literature: an introduction to fiction, poetry, drama, and writing. 10th ed., interactive ed. New York: Pearson Longman, 2007. 680. Print.
Wagner, Patrick. Poetry analysis. Clayton, South Vic.: Learning Essentials, 2003. Print.