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Home Home » Archives for 2018-05-06

Friday, 11 May 2018

Rich Man and The Poor Man

There was once a farmer who could grow nothing but millet on his farm and so he was unable to accumulate very much wealth. He longed to be rich and often wept at night in his frustration. He did not even have enough money to marry a wife.
Everyday he looked across the road at his neighbor the rich man, and his heart was filled with envy. He saw the way the four beautiful wives of the rich man took care of him, prepared his food and tended his gardens. He saw the many children that played in the Rich man's courtyard and did his work for him in the fields.
So the poor man determined in his heart to become friends with the rich man, in the hope that the rich man would lend him sufficient money to marry a bride, so that his affairs too would begin to prosper. The poor man took the greater part of his poor savings and went to the village where he bought the finest robe that he could afford. Next day he took this to his neighbor the rich man sitting in his fine house, and presented it to him saying, "please accept this gift, my neighbors have come to visit you as I would very much like to become your friend". The rich man smiled and accepted the gift, but when he looked across at his neighbor's house and saw how poor it is was compared to his own, he turned his back on the poor man, saying " I accept your respect as my due, but for such a beggarly fellow to become the friend of a rich man is impossible".
The poor man went to the river and sat by the water and wept bitterly. His tears fell in the water and to his amazement a dark fairy came out of the river. 'Your tears have brought me. I am the river fairy and I obey your commands. What do you wish?' it asked.
' Oh good fairy, I am poor and lonely, but I have not enough money to marry a wife', the poor man cried. The fairy presented him with a bag saying "Here, take this bag with you and when you get home it will be heavy with money. " Joyfully the poor farmer thanked the fairy and went on his homeward way singing and clutching his bag. When he reached home, he found that they had indeed became money. He rushed immediately to the rich farmer's home. 'Look, now I am rich also. Now I can marry a wife and become your friend, ' he shouted in glee. 'Oh, I am happy for you, ' replied the rich man. ' However if you wish to double your money you can do so by leaving it with me. Return in a month and then you will have sufficient to marry two wives rather than one. ' The foolish farmer's eyes gleamed as he contemplated the situation and the doubling of his wealth that would result if he could have two wives. So he gave the rich man his bag of money, went home and waited impatiently for thirty days to pass.
At the end of the appointed time the poor man returned to the rich man's house to collect his investment. To his dismay he found that the rich man had become deaf and dumb, and could not understand or answer a word, except to utter foolish noise like 'Ba, Ba, Ba'.
The poor man shouted and gesticulate but the rich man only shook his head uncomprehendingly. Finally the poor man dragged his rich, deaf and dumb neighbor to the court who would judge the case, and get his money back he hoped. The court was not able to decipher the signs of the deaf man so they called a clever interpreter who could understand all signs and sounds of the deaf and dumb. The interpreter signalled to the deaf mute, " did you receive money from this poor farmer?" 'Ba, Ba, Ba, ' he answered the farmer as he moved his fingers and hands. The interpreter turned to the court and said, "This man says that you're stupid and incompetent judge". 'i did not!' shouted the rich man. The judge laughed and awarded the poor farmer double the amount of money that had previously been promised, with this friendly warning friend, one wife in your hut is far better than two promised to you in the future.
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Monday, 7 May 2018

The Negro Speaks Of Rivers By Langston Hughes

The Negro speaks of rivers, the poet persona uses four (4) of the world's largest and most historical prominent rivers which are : Euphrates, Nile, Mississippi and Congo as metaphor to present a view of the African experience. Each of the four rivers contributes to the depth of the poet persona's soul. At the end of the poem, the poet persona has triumphed over his adversary.

Poetic Devices used in the poem The Negro Speaks Of Rivers

The poetic devices use in this poem titled The Negro Speaks Of Rivers are as follows;
Assonance personification alliteration repetition, simile and symbolism. 
  1. Alliteration : I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep. 
  2. Simile : My soul has grown like the rivers I have known rivers ancient as the world. 
  3. Assonance :  I have known rivers ancient as the world and older. 
  4. Personification : I heard the singing of the Mississippi. <br> I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young. 
  5. Symbolism : River symbolizes the flow of mankind and the period of American Civil War. 
Structure 
The poem (The Negro Speaks Of Rivers) has thirteen (13) lines. 
Themes
  • Racial identity : The poet use the river as metaphor to describe the plight of African, Americans and their triumph over their advisory.  The blacks were taken to the United States of America as slaves through the river. 
  • Strength of River : The poet honors the strength which enables the African-American's to survive their pains and harrowing experience. 
  • Power of Nature : The river can clean and purify humans. In the poem, the poet persona bathes in the river and river is the Source of life, wisdom and Purification.  Even today christians baptism which originated when John the Baptist who anointed Jesus Christ in River Jordan, represents both a symbol of purification and entrance of New life. 
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