Okay, so here it goes, the long awaited review for the poem, Nature by H.D. Carberry:
We have neither Summer nor Winter
Neither Autumn nor Spring.
We have instead the days
When the gold sun shines on the lush green canefields-
The days when the rain beats like bullets on the roofs
And there is no sound but the swish of water in the gullies
And trees struggling in the high Jamaica winds.
Also there are the days when leaves fade from off guango trees
And the reaped canefields lie bare and fallow to the sun.
But best of all there are the days when the mango and the logwood blossom
When the bushes are full of the sound of bees and the scent of honey,
When the tall grass sways and shivers to the slightest breath of air,
When the buttercups have paved the earth with yellow stars
And beauty comes suddenly and the rains have gone.
This poem is simply about nature. It talks about the condition, climate and atmosphere in Jamaica. Surprisingly, even figuratively, this poem is actually talking about the natural cycle of nature – the cycle of life. In my opinion, in this poem, the poet is trying to convey the message that in life, there will definitely be bad times and good times no matter where you are. And it can comes in every different forms.
Let us note here that the poem starts with the line, “we have neither Summer nor Winter, Neither Autum nor Spring”, initially, it gave us the sense of absence, as if something is lacking in the persona’s life. And as we continue to the third line ” we have instead the days”, I sense certain compensation from the persona. I felt like the persona is trying to tell us that they have something else other than the four seasons.
Beginning from line three till the end, the poem elaborates more on the different types of ‘days’ that they have in Jamaica. Just like how our life is, some days are portrayed as being better than the other, plus, there is also the ‘best of all’ days – not unlike the best moments we experience in our life.
To be honest, one of the reason why it took me so long to write this review is that in the beginning, I didnt ‘get’ this poem. I’m not sure why, but only after about a month ‘off’ this blog, I try to ‘read’ this poem again and I’m quite annoyed at myself for not noticing that this poem is indeed about nature – the nature of life.
I stated earlier about how good times and bad times come in differrent forms. I think we can definitely say that for those living in the places with the four seasons, the best seasons are usually spring and summer, and most of the time, people dread the Autumn and Winter’s climate. As for Jamaican, and may I say, Malaysian, we have our preference to and in the poem, the best days are the days when the mango and the logwood blossom, bushes full with the sound of bee with the scent of honey, with slight wind, and the buttercup blooms all over the plains. Do also note that the poem ends with the line ” and beauty comes suddenly and the rains have gone”. This is also another big resemblance to our life, as it has been our experience that after bad times, good times will follow and sometimes ever so abrubtly. This reminds me to a piece of a lyrics that can roughly be translated as below:
“Adversity is a gift,
So, brave through it with patience,
Soon the light will come,
As the cloud will not be there forever,
But the light will be brighter than ever.”
Somehow, it’s not really related to the poem but I’m just feeling like I wanna share 🙂 In short, what I want to say here is the fact that sometimes in life, the best moments or events happen right after a series of really terrible periods in life. In term of the message of the poem, I think that is all I get from this poem. Please, do share your thoughts and opinions. Hmm.. bout the elements, here’s what I found:
Onomatopoiea (finally… thanks situapui)
“swish” ; line 7
“rain beats like bullet”
“breath of air” (maybe?)
I might miss some others, sorry, it’s 3.00 am, if you find any… do share, do comment, all are welcome… Thanks for reading