Wednesday, 4 January 2012

In The Midst of Hardship - Analysis of the Poem


This poem tells of the hardship that a family in a village faces after a big flood. The elders return at dawn in soaking-wet clothes. They go straight to the kitchen. They are probably hungry. Their hands and legs are bruised but they do not show any sign of despair or of losing hope. After braving the dreadful flood for the last 24 hours, they still can not find their son’s albino buffalo. Despite all the adversities and suffering, the people in the poem do not complain or lament on their misfortunes. They spend time together, enjoying each other’s company. They are grateful for the fact what they still have instead of what is lost. Life goes on with their daily chores of preparing food and habit of rolling their cigarette leaves. They are still able to joke with one another.

Meaning of the Poem (According to Stanza)

Stanza 1

They returned home at day break and headed for the stove. Their clothes were soaking wet and tattered. Their bodies were covered with scratches and wounds. Yet, they did not display any signs of being worried.

Stanza 2

They were out in the flood the whole day and night. They were surrounded by dead animals and parts of trees that had been destroyed by the flood. They searched desperately for their son’s albino buffalo but were unable to find it.

Stanza 3

They were born into poverty and difficulty, but they do not complain about their suffer. Instead, they sit in the kitchen, cracking jokes while smoking cigarettes.


The setting of the poem is in the house.


Being resilience when facing hardship
Family love
Acceptance of way of life

Moral Values 

We should learn to accept problems in life with a positive outlook.
We must attempt to face and solve problem.
Facing hardship is part and parcel of life.
If we face a problem, do not feel despair.

Tone, Mood and Atmosphere 

Understanding and sympathetic
Acceptance of situation

Point of View 

Third person pint of view.

Language and Style 

Language is simple and easy to understand.
The style is simple with no rhyming scheme.

Poetic Devices 

Imagery – Gives picture of poet’s thoughts e.g ‘soaky clothes torn’ and ‘legs full of wounds’
Alliteration – e.g. ‘but on their brows’
Symbols – e.g. ‘horrendous flood’ and ‘bloating carcasses’
Diction – e.g. ‘stove’ and ‘brows‘

Credit: Zahuren

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