Comparing and Contrasting Jenkins' Poem "He Loved Light, Freedom and Animals" and Bush's Poem "Pneumoconiosis"

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Both poems have been written about death dying and the loss of loved ones, in a once thriving Welsh mining community. The first poem by Mike Jenkins is a reflection and remembrance by a Father who tragically and suddenly lost his son in a horrific and unfortunate disaster that happened in Aberfan in 1966, where many young lives were lost. The second poem by Duncan Bush in 1995 was written when he was riddled with the disease Pneumoconiosis hence the title of his poem. Pneumoconiosis is a disease contracted by miners who worked underground toiling unaware of the affect the dust was having upon their lungs. Both men lived through an era where Welsh mining was booming because of the need for coal. This brought great commercial success for the mining companies. Blinded by this new found wealth and fortune, communities toiled away unaware of the effect it would have on the workers and their families in the years to come. Duncan Bush talks about how the mine is killing him ‘But it’s had forty years in me now’. Duncan Bush spent thirty years in the mines and now the mine had spent forty years in him. The dark side of mining was brought to the fore when the Aberfan disaster hit the community. Mike Jenkins talked about how his son ‘ran forever’ unaware of the undetected ‘tumour’ that was lurking within the mountain. He describes the danger as a ‘tumour’ like that of a tumour in a body that is undetectable until it is too late and the danger cannot be averted. The other analogy with the tumour is that it is terminal and eventually will kill the patient. In Pneumoconiosis Duncan Bush wrote the poem in first person. He talks about his deterioration of health and the wait for his imminent death. On the other hand Mike Jenkins dri... ... middle of paper ... ...erstand how awful the disease is. Mike Jenkins never provides the name of his son, we don’t even know if he is even writing about his son, we just assume. Mike Jenkins like Duncan Bush cannot come around to naming the individual he is talking about. It heightens the emotional attachment to the poem and deepens the feeling of grief. Although both poems are set in the same environment, and that the visual structure of the poems are similar. Once you look deeper and analysis the poems it becomes clear that they have been written in very different styles, and very different but as powerful emotions running through them i.e. grief and resignment. One poet has a future to look forward to; the other knows that death is around the corner. One poet could not have for scene a death, the other is questioning weather the ‘black diamond dust’ was worth it on reflection.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that both poems are about death dying and the loss of loved ones, in a once thriving welsh mining community.
  • Explains that the second poem by duncan bush in 1995 was written when he was riddled with the disease pneumoconiosis hence the title of his poem.
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