The poem is a free verse there is no punctuation; it describes the anxious thoughts of a teenaged boy who does not know what tomorrow will hold. The title of the poem includes the words “June 16th. ” This date is a very significant date in the history of South Africa, as Youth day is commemorated and celebrated on this day. It goes back to the time in South African during the Apartheid regime. On June 16th 1976 thousands of students marched in the streets of Sweet to protest against Bantu education, which limited the level of education to most South Africans.Order now
There was an angry youth crowd fighting against and angry government and this resulted in the police killing two hundred young people and injuring hundreds more. This poem is therefore a good poem as it reflects how the people felt during this time in history and it also reflect where we come from as a nation and how the youth can play such n important role in changing an entire history of a country. Critical analysis on the poem: A young man’s thoughts before June the 16th, by Faze Johannes. To me “A young man’s thoughts before June the 16th”, written by Faze Johannes is quite a good poem. I must admit I had to read it quite a few times before I started to understand it. Although it is a short poem, the style is simple and the writer gets straight to the point.
I understand that the poem is about a young man who is about to go and fight for his rights in South Africa, but I feel that he would rather be somewhere else. I like the poem, it is not difficult to read and you can feel the emotions of the young boy through the words written in the poem. He is anxious about what tomorrow will bring and Just wants to be a normal young person. He longs for his mother and wants to spend time with his friends and he knows that he will probably die. In this poem, Faze Johannes is placing himself in somebody else’s shoes (this person knowing that he was going to die as a result of the march of June the 16th).
Therefore he is not the narrator of the poem but rather a character which will result in his death. The poet uses words like “l, me and my’ which make the poem very personal and you can imagine the young man going through all the emotions that he is going through. The poem can be seen both as literally and figuratively therefore making the reader or narrator enjoy how the poem has been described. In the literal sense, the person in the poem is going to march, “travel on a road” (line 1) on June the 16th. There is a use of alliteration which occurs by the use of the phrase “broad belch of beer” (line 7). However figuratively, the “march” is the journey, the struggle, against apartheid for a better tomorrow.
The speaker slows the poem down when reading it because of the repeated alliterations, this make the poem full of sadness. In the last line the poet writes that his sunset is drenched with red. This symbolizes that there is going to be a lot of lives lost and their blood will be spilled all over the place. The poet uses a lot of literary devices in the poem: Firstly the whole poem is written in small letters. This shows that the person in the poem feels inferior and does not think highly of himself. Also there are no punctuation marks used in the poem, the lines Just go on and on. This emphasizes the fact the is in an on-going struggle that Just goes on and on. His thoughts, “his sweet memories of (his) youth” are unstoppable.