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The Metaphors of Wishing Africa

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The Metaphors of Wishing Africa

"Wishing Africa" is a poem in which many thought provoking metaphors are used

to make it come alive by giving the reader great illustrations. First of all what is a

metaphor? A metaphor is a figure of speech that make comparison between two unlike

things, without using the words like or as. Marilyn Brooks utilizes metaphor to shape

one of the most interesting and dramatic poems. The essence of this poem lies within the

metaphors.

There are metaphors all through out "Wishing Africa," but the first one is not a

metaphor but a simile becuase of the use of the word as. "The wind delicate as

Queen Anne's lace" (4) is the first simile in the poem. This line is significant because it

helps to let the reader feel the poem, to feel Africa. It shows the gentle ways of the

environment, or the peacefulness of Africa. This helps to show why the poetic voice

would want to go back. The next metaphor in the stanza is , "The women's bodies were

variable as coral" (9). This is one of the most imaginative lines in the poem. It gives the

feeling of beauty, as if swimming underwater in the Great Barrier Reef, looking at all the

beautiful creatures. This is significant because the poetic voice is trying to show how

great and wonderful Africa was. It also serves as an illustration of the differences

between not just the women, but also ways of thinking. The woman may represent

different experiences the poetic voice has had since leaving Africa which has changed its

mind about the country and wishes it could go back there only one more time. Or they

could represent the different parts of Africa that the poetic voice misses so much.

The next stanza is a transition from the first. "I am threaded / with pale veins"

(13-14) is the first metaphor in the stanza. This is used to show why the poetic voice

cannot not return to the country it longs for. The words "threaded" (13) and "pale veins"

are the key concepts in the metaphor. The word "threaded" (13) gives the image of pain.

There are numerous possible reasons for the pain, the only limitation is the readers

imagination. Also, when a piece of clothe is made, many pieces of thread are threaded

together, and there is no way to get a single thread out without destroying the whole piece

of clothe itself.