THEMATIC AND STYLISTIC ANALYSES OF OSWALD MTSHALI’S JUST A PASSER BY
The East African poet Oswald Mstshali’s poem will be analysed thematically and stylistically.
Oswald M. Mitshali is one of black South Africa’s most talented poet. He was born in Natal and was a victim of the apartheid system which denied him admission into the University of Witwatersrand. But this did not dampen his desire for literary progress as he published his first volume of poems titled Sounds of the Cowhide Drum, which established him as a significant poet.
Mitshali’s poems are about the people and their life in a hostile society which he is part of. The theme of survival in a defiant and hostile society runs through a number of his poems. The quiet control and the colloquial tone is noticed when the poet writes of his peoples’ sufferings. There is no venom of hatred expressed but most of the themes are conveyed through distilled lyrical verses and ironic humour. Similarly, irony and cynicism are the main characteristic features of his poetry as can be seen in the poem below
To examine the theme of the poem.
To identify the poetic techniques employed.
JUST A PASSERBY
- I saw them clobber him with kieries,
- I heard him scream with pain
- like a victim of slaughter
- I smelt fresh blood gush
- 5 from his nostrils,
- and flow on the street.
- I walked into the church
- and knelt in the pew
- “Lord! I love you.
- 10 I also love my neighbour. Amen”
- I came out
- my heart as light as an angel’s kiss
- on the cheek of a saintly soul.
- Back home I strutted
- 15 past a crowd of onlookers.
- Then she came in –
- my woman neighbour:
- “Have you heard? They’ve killed your brother.”
- “O! No! I have heard nothing. I’ve been to church.”
THEME AND STYLE IN THE POEM
This is a very ironic and sarcastic piece of poetry through which the poet expresses the helpless condition of.…….. (PURCHASE FULL WORK)