“Before the sun” by Charles Mungoshi Essay
“Before the sun” by Charles Mungoshi
This is a simple poem written by the African poetCharles Mungoshi, in which a boy talks about his every day life activity. The boy like all others desperately wants to convince others or even himself that hes a grown up, and so seek to copy the activities that old people do. He wakes up every day before the rising of the sun. The boy explains the nature around him, and how his life is simple or even sometimes tiring (he wakes up very early to work hard, like grownups do).
In the first stanza the poet gives us concept of time, which shows us that its dun, a beginning of a new day. Promising early heat and later in the afternoon heavy rain, this phrase shows how heat changes into rain. This explains how things change, nothing stays the same, it also explains how one thing leads to another. The early heat leads to evaporation of water, which condenses to form rain. The warm blue morning, will eventually change to heat and later to heavy rain. The poet uses the word promises before early heating, its like you cant avoid the heat, it will eventually come.
The second stanza shows the concept of color, bright chips he says. He explains the strength of the sharp axe, which drives the chips to fly for some distance through the air. The poet draws our attention by writing a one word line arc. This line on my opinion is to assure the strength of the axe. We can tell that the child loves his every day activity by the way he nicely explains the nature around him. Like the chips that disintegrate when he cuts the wood, it settles down in showers on the dewy grass. The poet amazingly draws our attention to all the little details of the nature around him, which can help us easily imagine the niche hes living in.
It is big log, but when you are fourteen big logs are what you want. Its strange for a fourteen years old child to want a big log. This can show us again the simple life the child is living. Fourteen year old wants big logs because, its a challenge to them, it shows how strong they are, its like 14 versus big logs.
In the forth stanza, the poet shows the benefits of the wood and how it cures from sneezing unlike sawdust. The wood gives out a sweet nose-cleansing
odour explains the poet. Again, the poet draws our attention on the fifth stanza to the details of the thin spiral of smoke which he metaphors its raising to the sky with a flute straightened out to the sky, and a single of some sort, or a sacrificial prayer. In both this two stanzas, the poet explains and metaphors the beauty of the wood that he cut down. This happens to a lot of us, people specially children look at whatever thing they accomplished and felt that they worked hard on it, as a beautiful thing, no matter how terrible it is.
The poet metaphors the sound he hears when the wood is burned, with the hiss of the snake, and the scatter of the sparks with flying.
The poet similes the rising or showing up of the sun, with some latecomer to a feast. This can identify to us the hunger that the boy felt. I have got two cobs of maize ready for it.
Although the boy is trying to act like a grown up, cutting down woods, he cant resist his childhood side and not play with his imagination. I tell the sun to come share with me the rousted maize. The boy is visualizing the sun as his friend, whom hes asking to come to come and shares his roasted maize with. The boy personifies the rising of the sun with the wink of a grown-up.
After a hard day full of working, the boy eats his maize visualizing that hes sharing it with the sun one for the sun, one for me. The boy describes the empty cobs with little skeletons in the sun.
We can notice that the poet is describing in each stanza a specific part of the nature around him, the rising of the sun, the smell of the wood, the scatter of the its chips, and its hissing voice. The boy impresses me with the way he looks at his simple life. For most of us, its a struggling life were we have to wake up early and work, but for the boy, its an exciting life with challenges and making up friends with the nature around him.