The verse form “South” by Kamau Brathwaite is a nostalgic verse form. It focuses on mundane subjects such as the yearning for place. the idealisation of childhood. the disruption of people due to subjugation and societal agitation and personal struggle. The talker is nostalgic. reflective throughout the verse form as he speaks with a yearning for and pride. joy and captivation about his birth topographic point. The rubric of the verse form. “South” . refers to the southern hemisphere. which includes the Caribbean islands. South America and the southern provinces of the United States of America and of Africa. all of which are associated with the racial subjugation of black people. In Literature. this is ever juxtaposed with the North. where throughout history. slaves have frequently journeyed to the North in hunt for freedom. The poet seems to be covering with a struggle of some kind. The talker seems to be altering an sentiment that is different from the one which he one time held. perchance as a immature grownup.
Through the verse form. the talker reminisces about the islands. its beaches and the lovely scenery – hoarded wealths frequently taken for granted by the island’s dwellers. In the first stanza the talker sees “the bright beaches: bluish mist” ( line 2 ) … . He looks out at “The fishermen’s houses… shores…” ( line 4 ) and listens to the “sound of the sea… [ as ] life heaved and breathed. . with the strength of that disruptive soil” ( lines 2 – 6 ) . The linguistic communication creates images of picturesque landscapes. glittering sunshine and bluish seas. He personifies the Earth with the phrase “life heaved and breathed. . the disruptive soil” ( lines 5. 6 ) conveying it to life under one’s pess. In this topographic point. he seems at one with the sea. as he possessed its energy and verve. about as though the island has a beating bosom within it. Stanza 2 clears with the speaker’s remarks that he has “travelled: moved far from the beaches” ( line 7 ) and has faced many different climes.
He has traveled from the beaches of his land and has resided around the universe temporarily in metropoliss with rock foundations and has even settled in a topographic point clustered with trees. The poet describes a topographic point which makes him experience oppressed in its glooming shadows ( line 11 ) created by its trees where the lone H2O is that of rain and the “tepid gustatory sensation of the river” ( line 12 ) . For him. the river does non hold the entreaty or strength of the ocean which is normally symbolic of life. reclamation and limitless chances with its capriciousness. In stanza 3. one notices the speaker’s immediate switch from the pronoun “I” to “we” ( line 13 ) including himself among a people who are “born of the ocean” ( line 13 ) .
Harmonizing to him. these people. no “solace” ( line13 ) can be found in rivers. For the people of the ocean. their unbounded nature and yearning for the unknown is borne out of the freedom of the ocean with its unpredictable nature. which is in direct contrast with a river. The river symbolizes people’s “lack of enterprise and purpose” ( line 15 ) with its bland predictability as it flows in merely one way. Stanza 4 clears with the words. “But today” ( line 19 ) which implies that there will be some signifier of alteration from the natural order of things – a divergence from the norm.
The talker personifies the river when he refers to its “patientest flowing” ( line 20 ) as one is allowed to hear its steady energy as it flows through his repeat of the ‘s’ sound from lines 20 to 24. In stanzas 5 and 6. the speaker’s head journeys back to this island and the ocean. In line 25 he states that the ocean refreshes him as the moving ridges “splash up from the rocks” and he paints a image of a beautiful idyllic landscape among a hive of familiar activity. sea life and sea animals among the “thatch of the fishermen’s houses” .