The Migrant (by A.L. Hendriks) In-Depth Analysis and Critical Evaluation

Irish Scriptures

Did You Know? The author of this blog has recently published a poetry anthology, Purple Ulcers, and is internationally available for purchase at a very humble price of £3.17/$4.05. Please make a contribution to this blog by purchasing a copy and ensuring the author is able to continue providing detailed analyses for all the students appearing for their English examinations soon! Purple Ulcers is available at the following links:https://www.amazon.com/Purple-Ulcers-Ammar-Khan/dp/1544794827/https://www.amazon.co.uk/Purple-Ulcers-Ammar-Khan/dp/1544794827/https://www.amazon.com/author/ammarkhan/

For any additional help: ammarhammadkhan@gmail.com

Background of the Poet

  • Jamaican poet, writer and director
  • Contributed as a literary critic to the The Daily Gleaner

Structure and Rhyme Scheme

  • Six stanzas of varying lengths. This could depict the nature of an airplane journey – or generally, of life – where there are many ‘ups and downs’ and travelling through life isn’t a uniform or orderly experience, and therefore there is no standardised length of each stanza.
  • No…

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Dilemma of a Ghost and Anowa, by Ama Ata Aidoo.

Me, you, and books

Dilemma of a Ghost and Anowa: Two Plays, by Ama Ata Aidoo.   Longman (1995), Edition: 1, Paperback, 124 pages

Two powerful plays by a leading African author about conflicts between spouses and between parents and children.

I generally find it difficult to read plays, but when I saw a video with a scene from Ama Ata Aidoo’s Anowa, I knew I needed to read these.  As Africans developed their own literary traditions after independence, Aidoo was one of a group of women who insured women’s voices would be included.  I have read and enjoyed her writing before, especially her novel Changes.  Often blending prose and poetry, she has continued to be a leading Ghanaian author who publishes in a variety of genres.  I particularly like how her stories are about the relationship of Africans with each other.  Even her concern over the impact of slavery focuses on…

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On Living – A poem

Living is no laughing matter:
you must live with great seriousness
like a squirrel, for example–
I mean without looking for something beyond and above living,
I mean living must be your whole occupation.
Living is no laughing matter:
you must take it seriously,
so much so and to such a degree
that, for example, your hands tied behind your back,
your back to the wall,
or else in a laboratory
in your white coat and safety glasses,
you can die for people–
even for people whose faces you’ve never seen,
even though you know living
is the most real, the most beautiful thing.
I mean, you must take living so seriously
that even at seventy, for example, you’ll plant olive trees–
and not for your children, either,
but because although you fear death you don’t believe it,
because living, I mean, weighs heavier.

II

Let’s say you’re seriously ill, need surgery–
which is to say we might not get
from the white table.
Even though it’s impossible not to feel sad
about going a little too soon,
we’ll still laugh at the jokes being told,
we’ll look out the window to see it’s raining,
or still wait anxiously
for the latest newscast …
Let’s say we’re at the front–
for something worth fighting for, say.
There, in the first offensive, on that very day,
we might fall on our face, dead.
We’ll know this with a curious anger,
but we’ll still worry ourselves to death
about the outcome of the war, which could last years.
Let’s say we’re in prison
and close to fifty,
and we have eighteen more years, say,
before the iron doors will open.
We’ll still live with the outside,
with its people and animals, struggle and wind–
I mean with the outside beyond the walls.
I mean, however and wherever we are,
we must live as if we will never die.

III

This earth will grow cold,
a star among stars
and one of the smallest,
a gilded mote on blue velvet–
I mean this, our great earth.
This earth will grow cold one day,
not like a block of ice
or a dead cloud even
but like an empty walnut it will roll along
in pitch-black space …
You must grieve for this right now
–you have to feel this sorrow now–
for the world must be loved this much
if you’re going to say “I lived” …

Trans. by Randy Blasing and Mutlu Konuk (1993)

Against self criticism

 

In Freud’s vision of things we are, above all, ambivalent animals: wherever we hate, we love; wherever we love, we hate. If someone can satisfy us, they can also frustrate us; and if someone can frustrate us, we always believe that they can satisfy us. We criticize when we are frustrated — or when we are trying to describe our frustration, however obliquely — and praise when we are more satisfied, and vice versa. Ambivalence does not, in the Freudian story, mean mixed feelings, it means opposing feelings.

[…]

Love and hate — a too simple, or too familiar, vocabulary, and so never quite the right names for what we might want to say — are the common source, the elemental feelings with which we apprehend the world; and they are interdependent in the sense that you can’t have one without the other, and that they mutually inform each other. The way we hate people depends on the way we love them, and vice versa. And given that these contradictory feelings are our ‘common source’ they enter into everything we do. They are the medium in which we do everything. We are ambivalent, in Freud’s view, about anything and everything that matters to us; indeed, ambivalence is the way we recognize that someone or something has become significant to us… Where there is devotion there is always protest… where there is trust there is suspicion.

[…]

We may not be able to imagine a life in which we don’t spend a large amount of our time criticizing ourselves and others; but we should keep in mind the self-love that is always in play.

2016 Writivism Short Story Prize Guidelines

Writivism

  1. The Writivism Short Story Prize is an annual award for emerging African writers administered by the Center for African Cultural Excellence (CACE).
  2. Entrants must be unpublished writers, resident in an African country. One is deemed published if they have a book of their own.
  3. Any questions of eligibility shall be resolved by the CACE administration and their decision is final.
  4. Entries must be submitted online, by emailing them to info@writivism.com as attachments (not in the body email), clearly labeled in the subject: 2016 Writivism Short Story Prize Submission from January 30 until March 31, 2016. The writer must include in the body of the email, other information about him/her, as country of residence, age, legal name and pen name (where applicable) and telephone contact.
  5. Only one entry per writer may be submitted for the Writivism Short Story Prize. The story must be original and previously unpublished in any form except…

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Breakthrough

Erik Mutei

A dart in the bullseye of a dartboard

Laborious-
A pain on my fingers
Fatigue of the thoughts
I fumble with words
Chasing the changing flares
The flipping images
Flapping like a restless bird
In my mind
Moving faster
Faster than my fingers on this keyboard
Or this pen bleeding on this sheet

One day it will breakthrough
Maybe now
Maybe tomorrow
One day though
These letters
Will jiggle
These words
Will giggle
A staccato on pages of life
Dance to the whistle of my vibrations,
The I AM synergy

One day these discords will shine
Brighter like neon
And settled dust of the universe
Illuminating under the power
Of the sun
A sum of the ancient moments
One day
These will be stories for the later generations
As they reminisce
Clouded by the change of times
Transformations in the cosmos
The increase of less-es
Delusions of the senses
Blinded by the lust of the eyes
Locked up…

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Greatness of the soul.

Over the years, I’ve tried to make it a point to encourage you to take care of the body that carries the soul. Not that I won’t continue to cheer us on in the fight for bodily stewardship, but the more I study and grow and fail, the more certain I am that while the body carries the soul, it’s the soul that protects the body; not the other way around.

John Ortberg writes, “The soul knows a glory that the body cannot rob. In some ways, in some cases, the more the body revolts, the more the soul shines through.” He goes on to say that the “greatness of soul is available to people who do not have the luxury of being ecstatic about the condition and appearance of their bodes.” (Word.)

That particular quote came on the heels of a story about Patricia. Patricia suffered from the effects of diabetes, a heart attack and two strokes. She went blind and lost both legs…all in her thirties. But before she died, she led a team to build a homeless shelter in Washington, D.C. At her funeral, alongside Secretary of State James Baker, standing in reverent respect were – of course – the homeless. “The only thing I can depend on with my body is that it will fail me. Somehow my body is mine, but it’s not me,” she said.

Greatness of soul. I’d say that’s our theme.