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Beautiful People in a Mercedes’, showing how the poets reveal their
ideas and feelings about the cultures and traditions that they are
The poem ‘Two Scavengers in a Truck, Two Beautiful People in a
Mercedes’ has been chosen to be compared to ‘Nothing’s Changed’. The
two poets Tatamkhulu Afrika and Lawrence Ferlinghetti reveal their
ideas and feelings about the cultures and traditions that they have
talked about through the tone, language and the structure of the poem.
The reader can notice that both poets reveal that in an angry way. The
poem that Lawrence Ferlinghetti wrote tells us how the poor people
feel about the rich when they see them living and staying in a better
place than they are. The poem also tells us the separations between
the rich and poor. The poem ‘Nothing’s Changed’ talks about the
separation between the whites and the blacks and how the whites
usually treat the black people.
The tone in ‘Nothing’s Changed’ is very angry and violent, to show the
poets attitude to the fact that nothing has changed. His ideas and
violent feelings are revealed in his tone. He shows a very bad
attitude towards white people. The tone can be seen as that of a
resigned way, as if he knows that it almost too much to hope that
things can change.
The poem ‘Two Scavengers …’ can be seen as a loud angry tone, to
protest about the failure of democracy. It can also be seen as a
somber, muted tone, to express sadness that a gap remains between rich
and poor. Comparison in detail has been done between the two garbage
men and the cool couples.
The poem ‘Nothing’s Changed’ is written in the present tense. Even
though he is talking about a past experience, it’s like it is
happening now. This is one of the features that were used in the
language to make us read the poem. The poet uses alliteration in all
the stanzas except stanza four. In the first stanza he used
alliteration when he used the words cuffs, cans and crunch. In the
third stanza the poet uses alliteration on ‘g’. He also uses rhythmic
echo in ‘hands’, ‘bones’ and ‘lungs’ in the second stanza. Repetition
and assonance is also used in the second stanza. Sound pattern has
been used in the fifth stanza. All this shows how the poet reveals
his ideas and feelings about his culture and tradition. So the
language he used helped him a lot to reveal his thoughts and feelings.
The poem title ‘Two Scavengers …’ shows us that the poem will be about
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poor and beautiful people who are the rich. The language is modern,
simple and sometimes colloquial. The poet uses short cuts like ‘&’ is
used instead of ’and’. The poem is written in the present tense,
which makes us feel that all the events are happening now. That also
suggests that the huge gap between rich and poor is a problem now,
too. The poet uses metaphor and repetition of ‘and’. He uses a lot
of harsh sounds in this poem. He used no punctuation in this poem, if
he wanted the reader to pause, he started a new line.
The poem ‘Nothing’s Changed’ is written in six stanzas. This type of
layout creates a sense of control. It tells us that the poet is very
clear about what he is feeling. The fourth stanza has a very unusual
length. It just has two short lines. The structure reveals the poet’s
feelings and ideas towards his culture.
The structure used in ‘Two Scavengers …’ is quite simple. It is
written in four stanzas of varying length. The layout is fairly free,
that tells us how the poet feels towards the culture that he is
talking about. The layout of the poem is very unusual and is easily
noticeable. Similar to ‘Nothing’s Changed’ the structure of this poem
also tells us a lot about the culture & traditions of the poet.
The two poets reveal their ideas and feelings about the cultures and
traditions that they are speaking about in many ways using the tone,
language and the structure of the poem. Both the poets show us that
they are angry about the events that are taking place in the poem.
Both the poems are political in viewpoint. I personally found ‘Two
Scavengers…’ more interesting than ‘Nothing’s Changed’ because of its
layout and unusual storyline.