Analysing Charles Mungoshi - Before the Sun

Analysing Charles Mungoshi - Before the Sun

  • Submitted By: brendon
  • Date Submitted: 05/20/2009 1:33 PM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 1285
  • Page: 6
  • Views: 719

In before the sun Charles Mungoshi gives us a beautiful impressionistic picture of nature, as I assume, in his native Zimbabwe.
The first stanza strikes me as possessing of a somewhat matter-of-fact language, akin to that which might be used in a weather forecast.

'Intense blue morning
promising early heat
and later in the afternoon
heavy rain'

The word 'promising' here used to describe a warm sunny morning, inevitably causes associations in the readers mind with a report on the days weather. This has the effect of creating an external observer in the poem, one that is omnipotent in a way, as is eloquently (or rather with lack of eloquent embellishment) put forth toward the end of the stanza.

'and later in the afternoon
heavy rain'

These lines as opposed to the two that precede it are absolutist in nature, implying that the persona that the writer assumes is absolutely aware, in its suggested detachment from the occurences of the poem.

The next stanza describes a chopping action on wood and the motion of the chips resulting thereof.

'The bright chips
fly from the sharp axe
for some distance through the air
and eternities later
settle down in showers
on the dewy grass'

With the first line the poet uses effective monosyllabic language to enhance the speed of the action.
The words 'bright chips', because of their monoysyllabic, short and quickly spoken nature, describe the speed of the motion of the chips, as they 'fly from the sharp axe'. Here too Mungoshi manages the use of an alliteration in order to emphasise the speed of motion with, 'fly from', in addition to the repeated monosyllabic language use evident in each of the above quoted words of stanza 2,line 2.
The following line however, syllabilically speaking, is the longest in the stanza emphasising the distance travelled by the chips, as in 'for some distance through the air,' which uses 7 syllables.

The natural references in this stanza, include a reference to air,...

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