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The poems both have a rhyme scheme but differ in consistency. Overheard has a very regular consistent abcb rhyme scheme, the way its so regular reflects the regularity of her daily lifestyle. In comparison to this Woman work does not maintain a consistent rhyme scheme, the first stanza has the rhyme scheme aa,bb,cc whilst the remaining stanzas have a a,b,c,b rhyme scheme. It also lacks a consistent rhythm or metre unlike overheard which displays a song like rhythm throughout, but this irregular rhythm does reflect upon the mood of the poem.
In the beginning its alot faster, like the lifestyle she currently leads, and then the rhythm slows down as she talks of the slower paced lifestyle she would like to lead. Overheard does not use any sound techniques like onomatopoeia or alliteration which I believe would have added to the overall effect and woman work also lacks greatly in sound techniques although there are a few cases of such as “cane, cut” and “fry” again words that are all very closely linked back to American culture.
The woman in overheard feels she should be appreciative but deep down she craves something more because she is very creative and ambitious. She feels her dreams and identity have been taken from her and this is making her very cynical towards the life she is leading. In the first half of the poem the woman’s life seems bearable and a lifestyle some people would strive for but after the third stanza the poem takes a sharp turn and the woman starts to become bitter and resentful towards the life she has become entwined in.
During Woman work there is a subtle irony running throughout. This ladies cultural background is that of slavery, her culture and people were brought over from Africa as slave, but because this woman is of a different generation she isn’t an actual slave but yet she still feels as though she is. What’s also ironic is that after everything that happened with slavery black men began to treat their wives as slaves within their own homes, women they were supposed to love.
Woman work gives a very sad, solemn tone as it decribes this woman who has nothing to call her own and is treated as a slave inside her own home, all she strives for is a rest, and yet even with all the hardship she faces a sense of embitterment is not put across once. People reading both poems would notice that the lady in woman work is submitting a heart felt plea whereas the woman in county Sligo has a wavering appeal. Although we know she is unhappy it is also brought to our attention that “the freedom is there for the taking” showing us without a doubt that this woman could actually leave and begin a new.
If she is so unhappy in her life why is she not taking this chance for freedom? Of the two poems I preferred woman work by Maya Angelou I enjoyed it and the way it was written really helped me to empathise with the woman’s feelings and situation. The use of nature as a comfort to the woman was an excellent technique and the poem made me take a lot of things into consideration. In contrast to this I didn’t warm towards the character in overheard and I did not really enjoy the poem to a great extent.
I did like the colloquial conversational way in which it was writtten, almost as if a fictional character was being created. I didn’t really empathise greatly with the character though and I found her very difficult to understand, she was almost contradicting. Both poems portrayed the other cultures well and really put across a sense of oppression to women by men, I think overheard could have you some more language techniques to make it stronger but they were both good poems.
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