The poem speaks of the language barrier that arises when two people of different cultural and lingual backgrounds attempt to communicate. The attempts at successfully delivering the message, avoiding any misunderstandings, and attaining proper body and facial expression compromise the main themes and ideas in the poem. The first sentence brings up the impact one’s home culture has on expression, and delivery of a message, whatever it may be, as, much emphasis may be placed on a particular set of words or a sentence.
This differs between cultures as some value expressions, facial and lingual, more than others. The poem ends with the narrator speaking about an understanding between the involved people, that effort and true desire to communicate does not go unnoticed and that love Is a universal language. As for structure, It Is an 18-Ellen poem, with some sentences taking up more than one line, otherwise known as enjambment.
There Is no particular rhyme scheme, with the first verse being ;blank’, rather examples of assonance used at the end of sentences, tit lines 4-5 (follow, wallowing), 11-12 (care, are) and 9-10 (question, translation sharing their ending or certain forms of spelling. All lines carry on to the next with commas, and one example of a dash (line 9), being the only forms of punctuation used as the end of a line. Alliteration is present, line 2 (of, our), line 3 (from, foreigners), line 6 (what, we), line 9 (always, asking line 11 (something, sure), 12 (foreign, friends), 14 (helping, hands).Order now
In particular, there is a repetition of the word we”, as the narrator refers to his/her home culture in contrast to the foreign. Personification on the first line, “clumsy on the tongue, these acquired Idioms”, refers to lack of fluidity when speaking a foreign language. Symbolism is present, particularly on lines 14-15, where speech Is compared to being injured or handicapped In a way, due to not being able to fully express oneself In part to language barriers, and to pronunciation issues. An expression on line 14, “how our speech reaches out, like a helping hand,”, is an example of a simile.