From the vanity of human wishes… a poem

The Tenth Satire of Juvenal, Imitated

Let observation with extensive view,
Survey man kind, from China to Peru;
Remark each anxious toil, each eager strife,
And watch the busy scenes of crowded life;
Then say how hope and fear, desire and hate,
O’erspread with snares the clouded maze of fate,
Where wav’ring man, betray’d by ven’rous pride
To read the dreary paths without a guide,
As treach’rous phantoms in the mist delude,
Shuns fancied ills, or chases airy good.
How rarely reason guides the stubborn choice,
Rules the bold hand, or prompts the suppliant voice,
How nations sink, by darling schemes oppress’d,
When vengeance listens to the fool’s request.
Fate wings with ev’ry wish th’ afflictive dart,
Each gift of nature, and each grace of art,
With fatal heat impetuous courage glows,
With fatal sweetness elocution flows,
Impeachment stops the speaker’s pow’rful breath,
And restless fire precipitates on death.

               But scarce observ’d the knowing and the bold,
Fall in the gen’ral massacre of gold;
Wide-wasting pest! That rages unconfin’d,
And crowds with crimes the records of mankind,
For gold his sword the hireling ruffian draws,
For gold the hireling judge distorts the laws;
Wealth heap’d on wealth, nor truth nor safety buys,
The dangers gather as the treasures rise.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

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Analysis: Telephone Conversation by Wole Soyinka.

a good analysis

litxpert

Soyinka’s Telephone Conversation depicts a conversation between a white lady and an African American man which casts a harsh light on the racism and prejudice which grips society.

The title reveals the fact that two people are talking on the phone, so the beginning of the poem is on a positive note: The man is searching for a house and the land lady has named a considerable price, and the area where it is located is an impartial and not racially prejudiced. Also the man could enjoy his privacy as the land lady does not live under the same roof. The African man is ready to accept the offer, but maybe there has been a similar incident in his past, for he stops and admits to her that he is black, saying he prefers not to waste the time travelling there if she’s going to refuse him on that bounds.

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

AMMAR HAMMAD KHAN

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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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