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Roland E.T Mhasvi The Flowers of Yesterday. An Anthology of Poems

DAWN 1984

The dry cracks of the mind fill up with sand,
Dusty acres of self-doubt spread,
Creeping jaggedly on,
Leaving in their wake, like the ruins
Of an ancient civilisation,
The broken fragments of a despairing vision;
Sorrows that come hurtling down the mind walls and
Smash into the blood clots that echo
In the empty chambers of a lonely heart.

The darkening gloom spreads over the prostate land,
Over the barren wastes of a sickening mind.
Rocky sentinels stand watch over the sleeping sands,
Whilst blasted wastelands chum and heave,
Rocking in the shadows and leeways
Of a forgotten dream.

But lo! From the East a light glows
A beacon of the heart,
An arc of radiance and power that
By the minute grows,
And lo! from the East tufted grass,
With corded foot and verdant crown
Comes marching on, in green conquest
Of a peasant brown,
To bind together the shattered vision of a lost world.
From the hidden depths a slow awakening of a Spring,
And the sleeping sands yawn and glimmer
With inner life;
Below their blanket Spread,
The land begins to pulse and beat,
Washed in the glowing promise of a new dawn

Slowly, the shattered scene begins to integrate.
The East is a blaze of fiery glory,
The land a spread of golden dreams
And my mind-still a shadowy playground
Of doubts chasing fears-
Awaits the touch of a single smiled ray
From the lips of the enchanting East,
And perchance a wondrous little more,
In this glorious late 1984 dawn!

Dawn 1984 Poem Analysis

The poem”Dawn 1984″ can be read as a historical allusion to the civil strikes and ethical violence that erupted in some parts of Zimbabwe soon after independence. The poet
vividly captures this moment of madness in Zimbabwe’s history in the first 2 stanzas of the poem

In the first and second stanza the poet look at pain and suffering of the people before just independence. This was at the peak of the war liberation when despair and hopelessness characterized people’s lives.

Mhasvi employs diction to capture this painful period in ‘stanza’. The imagery speaking of a world that has plunged into chaos and robbed of all meaning
The second stanza I think is just cementing wat has been said in the first stanza. In which the poet uses a pessimistic diction. Despairing diction too which might be a metaphor of Rhodesia.

Independence was expected to restore people’s dreams and Hope’s for a better life as symbolised by the phrase” the land begins to pulse and beat… and slowly the shattered scene begins to integrate”.

The poet on the other hand is someone who distance himself from the independence euphoria and he is doubtful of the gain of independence as he states” And my mind-still a shadowy playground of doubts chasing fears …

In the poem Mhasvi also captured the excitement which was triggered on the Zimbabwe people among the eve of Independence.

This was due to the fact that they had great expectations from the outcome of independence were it says ” Tha land a spread of golden dreams”

There’s use of comparison of the first two stanza n the last Showing how things are changing as we now experience use of soft diction like glows,,,,, beacon,,,,,and a rentilising atmosphere ….we can say hopeful diction And we should take note of the word East written in capitals. There is use of biblical allusion by the wise men from the east which shows hope and use of words like green which symbolises life and the Word Spring and the repetition of the words glow ….and the word like promise.

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