In this section I will be comparing two poems on the theme politics and inequality “Nothing’s changed” by Tatamkhulu Afrika and “Vultures” by Chinua Achebe. “Nothings changed” is about the poet talking about where he lived “District Six” and how it was a mixed-race area, but when apartheid was introduced in South Africa it become a white only area this shows the equality there was between the black and white people. Now under Nelson Mandela’s government, it’s supposedly mixed again but Afrika sees little difference.
The poem “Vultures” is about the poet comparing the two vultures that have disgusting eating habits, but they are still capable of affection for each other and the Nazi officer who is cruel and murderous during the day but a loving father and husband when he comes home. In the poem nothing’s changed the structure is written in a 48 lined stanza. This poem starts immediately with the poet telling you about where he lives and how it has been neglected “seeding grasses”.Order now
In vultures the structure is written in a 51 lines stanza. This poem starts immediately with words related to misery and darkness that sets the tone of the poem “greyness, drizzle”. The language in nothing’s changed is modern “small round hard stones click” and is written in the present tense “I back from the glass”. In the poem a lot of comparison is used throughout to show the inequality between black and white people.
One comparison is shown between the inn and the cafe “eat it at a plastic table’s top” this is where the black people ate it was basic food and they had plastic tables this is a comparison to where the white people ate as they have a new inn with posh food “new, up-market, haute cuisine”. “Down the road” this shows the inn and the cafe are close to each other, but completely separate. Also harshness and bitterness is shown in the poem, “it’s in the bone” this could mean that black people have lived like this for so long that it now seems natural.
In the last line of the poem “nothing’s changed” this ends the poem with on a negative note and he doesn’t see any difference in post-apartheid South Africa. This makes the poet feel very angry. Similes and metaphors are used in the poem “flaring like a flag” this simile shows the proud and insulting dominance of the inn – it seems to be taunting him “glass” this metaphor shows a barrier keeping him out and he can see how the white people live but he can’t enter.
In the poem vultures the language is written in modern “in the greyness and drizzle”. Personification is used in line (33, 34) “clinging, rebelliously” evil is personified, as a persistent reminder of what the commandant has been doing personification is also used in line (23) about “love”. An evil mood shows throughout the poem the poem starts at dawn but there’s no sign of the sun “dawn unstirred by harbingers of sunbreak” this tells us from the begging of the poem that it’s not very nice.
There are loads of words related to darkness, death and ugliness this shows a sombre mood that hangs over the poem. In nothing’s changed Afrika shows many feeling and attitudes towards the poem. One feeling which is showed is anger; the poet shows at the end of the poem when he feels that even though in South Africa there it meant to be equality Afrika feels that not much change has been made and still feels there is inequality.
Anger is also shown as he feels his country has been neglected “seeding grasses”. Bitterness and resentment is shown in his contrasting descriptions of the white people’s inn and the black people’s cafe. In vultures the poet also has many feeling and attitudes towards the poem one feeling that Achebe shows is puzzlement he shows this in lines (41-51) as he is unsure about how to look at the fact that people are capable of both kindness and cruelty.
The poet also finds the appearance and behaviour of the vultures (8-21) and the commandant (30-35) unpleasant but he’s not shocked by it. From nothing’s changed a quote that stood out for me was “it’s in the bone” this makes me feel upset for the black people as where they have lived in inequality for so long it’s like there meant to be treated like that and that they don’t know any different any more.