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” Upon first glance you do not realise exactly how much irony and skilful use of literary devices there are in this poem. But this poem creates pity also; maybe the poet himself has been through an experience like this and felt so strongly about it that he wrote this poem. ‘The Fringe of the Sea’ creates envy, longing and calm. “We want to be able to saunter beside it Slowpaced in burning sunlight,” The charming scene brought to mind by this poem, epitomises the respect and awe that the poet has for the sea: “elegant in high blue chambers.
” This gives a much more traditional and kindly view of the sea. The simile in ‘The Fringe of the Sea’: “like farmers do with soil,”-comparing the soil to the sea, shows dependence and need, showing indeed that the sea ‘is an essential part’ of Paul Keens-Douglas’ ‘psyche’. It is interesting that A. L Hendriks’ similes are connected to land objects. Showing that he is indeed a land person and is unused to the sea. He compares the mast to “two tree growin. ” Likens a wave to a ‘mountain’ and the “foam all roun de boat like soap.
” He compares these new, strange things he sees, to comforting, stable, straightforward objects. This makes him seem honest and of a lesser intelligence somehow, even though he isn’t. We see his simplicity in his choice of images. Paul Keens-Douglas uses such obvious, humble verbs, showing his positive and thoughtful attitude to the idyllic world that he is at peace with. He lists the mundane necessity “to work” equally with such pleasant verbs as: “to walk” “dive and swim and play” Showing that to him even work is enjoyable and just a natural part of his day.
The author’s repetition of the word “We” gives the idea that there is a whole ranges of people whose lifestyle is in harmony with the sea. All of verse two tells you this: “We like to rise up early, quick in the agile mornings and walk down only little distances to look down at the water” It gives the impression of a much-valued relative who they are “quick” to visit eagerly each day. The use of ellipsis in “Windjammer” creates a much fuller picture. Words like “rattlin’,” “growin’,” “cuttin’,” “swingin’,” and “makin’,” assist the use of dialect in making you hear the poem in your head.
Ellipsis also seems to create familiarity with reader as if there is no need to standardise the English, as you might to someone of importance. Dialect and Ellipsis often seem to give this effect, although often, in reality, familiarity is not intended or intentional. Also, the lines: “An’ is up an’ down up an’ down In an’ out, in an’ out,” give a fuller picture as the rhythm gives a wave effect. In the onomatopoeic words “swish- swishing” you can almost hear the sloshing around as the “boat bow” is “cuttin’ water. ”
The use of personification in ‘ The Fringe of the Sea’ in the word “murmurs” sounds like an undercurrent or maybe even a lover or a mother, gently whispering to the metaphoric “sandless highways”. Strange, that you have the word “mutterin’ ” in ‘Windjammer. ‘ This word personifies a moody threatening presence, like some sullen child muttering under their breath. These key words are completely opposite in their effect. The line “Sun bussin’ me skin,” in ‘Windjammer’, is also personification. It brings to mind a picture, of a comfy brown shoe, being polished.
Like the sun is rubbing away at the narrator’s cheeks. In this line, there is use of alliteration of the sibilant sound “S. ” It’s a hissing sound, so it seems the author is annoyed that he is going to get sunburnt. This line is followed by: “Ah bound to peel, An’ me done so black already. ” Which is humorous and he seems to be self-ridiculing in his unfortunate situation. Opposite to this, the personification in ‘The Fringe of the Sea’ is totally serious, as is the whole poem. The poet describes the seas “call. ” This gives the effect of authority and possession, like man is the sea’s servant.
The lines: “with songs and tides and endless boatways, and undulate patterns and moods. ” give the impression of a powerful, varied and vibrant presence, ever changing. This is ironic since the sea is “endless” and is presumed to be always the same. Situational Comedy is extensively used in ‘Windjammer. ‘ When A. L Hendriks writes “Is alright for dem sailor” “An’ talkin’ bout how is ah calm day. If dis is calm, well, Jesus help, Ah wouldn’t want to see when it rough. ” This shows the narrator’s fear and puzzlement in the poem.
There is comedy in the use of the vulgarisms “wish to god”, “Jesus help” and “Watch yu arse or yu head gone. ” They really do express and emphasise the narrator’s funny anguish. No comedy at all is used in ‘The Fringe of the Sea’ it is completely serious, meek and unassuming-too respectful to poke fun at the sea. The use of rhetorical questions enhances the parody of ‘Windjammer: “who sen’ me eh? Who sen’ me? ” In ‘The Fringe of the Sea’ there are no rhetorical questions, everything is stated as fact. The simple statements do not allow for doubt.
‘The Fringe of the Sea’ is my favourite poem out of the two. Everything in it is pensive, drifting along with dream like quality, with the wise, intelligent man in his perfect world. But my favourite line has to come from ‘Windjammer’ as this poem has so much enthusiasm, even in the terrible situation that the man is in. The last line is the best: “Dem seasick pills don’t work neither… ” It seems that it was an afterthought, not as important as the rest of the poem, but it gives you the most insight into the narrators feelings and is definitely the most amusing and witty.
With the words trailing off to leave you wondering. The character in ‘Windjammer’ seems very carefully thought out by the poet but somehow unrealistic and over the top in his manner. You can’t help having a sneaking suspicion that for all his complaint, the author likes and respects the sea really. This is an actual similarity to ‘The Fringe of the Sea’ as the character here, is also very unrealistic, but for the opposite reason. Where, in ‘Windjammer’ the complaining character and seasick situation seems too bad, in ‘The Fringe of the Sea’ the gentle character and faultless situation seem too good.