This idea also links to her time with her grandmother in Arkansas when the customers were all nearly all cotton pickers, even the women like the one in her poem who had all the other things to do on a daily basis. In R. S Thomas’s poem Lore he has a few very short sentences one is even only one word. The impact a one worded sentence has on the reader is the extra impact this has the reader has more time to ponder on the word which may provoke a thought in this example it was a rhetorical question: “Miserable”
I think that R. S Thomas wanted it to be rhetorical and it would have been to a small percentage of readers but not to most beforehand he is saying how he is eighty-five and still farming and staying outdoors most of his life, for most and me especially that doesn’t sound fun, im sure most would rather be inside watching Eastenders with a cup of tea in one hand and the local newspaper in the other well at his age at least, but he certainly doesn’t seem to be one to conform to anyone else’s beliefs.
There is one word that does shock me: “treachery of the seasons” it seems like someone has betrayed you, well that’s the context most people would use it in, but it works and makes the readers mind jump up and wonder what will this poem be like, what sort of character is the writer, because form this line he seems bitter and resentful but you find out. This could be because of his religious experience and upbringing that there is no grey everything in the world is either black or white. He doesn’t appear to look at things form other people’s points of view.
He asks a lot of rhetorical questions in his poem: “Miserable? ” “What’s living but courage? ” and “What to do? ” I think he is trying to change people’s views and show them what the correct answer to the question is. Unlike Maya Angelou, who simply presents her ideas unbiasdly as they are for you, she lets you make up your own mind and because of this she seems more helpless and honest, this is why more people would probably prefer her poem because she is not forcing her beliefs on anyone else like R. S Thomas. R.
S Thomas uses metaphors in many of his poems he chose to only use one in this one, probably didn’t want to seem soft or gentle because this is the image I get of a person when there is a lot of metaphors in their poems. “Bearded with golden dew” Thomas is describing the grass he also uses personification in the same phrase to describe the grass looking like there is a beard on it. The vocabulary between the two poems is very contrasting. In the poem Lore R. S Thomas physicalises a lot of things “eighty-five winters old”.
Instead of saying he is 85 he says how many winters he has witnessed in his lifetime, he seems to have a different approach to many things even work. Instead of using machines to do work more easily he wants to spend more time doing work by hand which would appear odd to many “never mind the machine”. He uses harsh language; “treachery”, “kick my arse! ” He chooses to use strong, powerful language; this could be because of his scheduled upbringing and life in a very organised strict church environment.
He doesn’t walk around a topic he bluntly states his views and opinions, as not to ‘dawdle’. In the church you mainly encounter a yes or no opinion about topics, clergy are straight to the point and quick to state it like in R. S Thomas’s poem. In one word “treachery” you understand his opinion about the seasons. Maya Angelou keeps language simple and straightforward “the floor to mop” and let me rest tonight. There aren’t any hidden meanings in her poem it is simple and easy to read unlike Lore.
This could be because she is showing how this woman didn’t have much of an education and doesn’t know how to use ‘fancy’ types of language. She does however use alliteration: “star shine” I think is to slow the pace of the poem down and to keep the poem together and make the tone more gentle near the end. When reading “Woman Work” the first stanza has no punctuation until the last line, so it is breathtaking literally. This may have been done to show how like a slave she is always busy and never stops.
This could have also been done also to emphasise the fact that there was a severe lack of education in Maya Angelous life. The message that the poet is trying to get through to the reader in “Woman Work” is how horrible life can be and the things you have to do to live. Also when I was reading this poem I was trying to think what the woman in this poem would have done when she was educated. Two things came into my mind. When there is no punctuation in the first stanza, this makes me the reader breathless when reading through.
It obviously changes the way I read the poem and after I read the list stanza at the beginning I fell relieved its over, but then it makes the reader realise that the woman in the poem still hasn’t had a rest and I want her to feel relieved like I did. I think that Maya did this to reflect the fact that she didn’t have an education. R. S Thomas however has a lot of punctuation in his poem. He asks many questions, has a few very short sentences and uses an assortment of commas and full stops: “What to do? “, “large, man, and” and “miserable”.
It affects the way I read very much, because all the punctuation make me have to pause a lot when reading the poem through, but this could be useful because it gave me longer to consider the points made in the poem. I think the poet has done this to show how organised his life is and how he doesn’t miss anything out, I also think it might be used to change the readers views about the issues discussed and the characters personality throughout. The rhetorical questions and exclamations show the irony and sarcasm of R. S Thomas’s character.
I believe the excessive amount of punctuation in this poem is emphasising the poet’s very organised and scheduled life, living in a church and having strict rules to follow. The overall image I received form the poem Lore was that of an old bitter and proud man by himself working his field to it’s fullest. I think of him doing the same routine year after year, quite a repetitive lifestyle a bit unfulfilling for most. He seems very strong minded and willed, all he wants is a simple breakfast nothing luxurious just some plain tea and porridge, no extras, he doesn’t even want milk or honey for his porridge just the basics for him.
I can imagine he has a small wooden shack with no other family, he lives in solitary. In R. S Thomas’s poem he uses personification: “Bearded with golden dew” From this use of personification I visualise a golden shadow over a field of never ending grass. The grass is shimmering and seems very inviting to touch almost magical. Within this same line he uses a metaphor. The words golden dew could also describe how much he likes his lifestyle and how everything suits him perfectly. Again this reinforces my earlier thoughts about the beard on the grass.
I believe that the poet put these to figurative language devices in the same line in order to maybe shock the reader because I usually associate these devices as the poet writing quiet gently and being a bit of a ‘softy’. But job Davies seems to be a completely opposite character to that so it throws the reader off a bit and keeps you wondering. R. S Thomas could have done this because it shows that there is only a very minimal room for such ‘nonsense’ in the world of work and that’s why he hasn’t used these literary devices throughout his poem.
This might be due to his very organized upbringing in a church environment where organisation and scheduled life is everything. In the poem Lore the rhyming scheme is a s follows; a,a,b,c this rhyming scheme doesn’t change whatsoever throughout, I think the poet did this to show his background and the character in poem (Job Davies) views about how an scheduled hard working life is the only way to advance in life. In the poem woman work the rhyming scheme varies a lot throughout. In the first stanza the rhyming scheme is rhyming couplets throughout.
Then in all the following four line stanzas the rhyming scheme is that the last words from the second line and fourth line rhyme. In the poem woman work the rhyming couplets in the first stanza help the flow and pace of the poem at the beginning it adds to the list effect of the first stanza, it also makes the woman seem quite bitter about what she has to do in a sarcastic sort of tone I can imagine her reading this out. The other four stanzas hold the poem together and slow the pace down more. The way in which I read the first stanza in a list form is reminiscent of her never ending seeming list of daily responsibilities.
In the poem Lore the last three stanzas are all just pairs of rhyming couplets. This makes the poem quite a country sounding one sort of just bopping along, line, rhyme, line, and rhyme, like a tractor almost. This tractor sound I read to is extremely reminiscent and tied into the theme of ‘job Davies working his field’. The strict rhyme scheme that R. S Thomas uses echoes his strict schedules-‘hum-drum’ working life suggests no room for dreams. Both poets have used rhythm and rhyme to constantly add to the theme of work and specifically either