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Poem

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Sherr
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A Mother in a Refugee Camp by Chinua Achebe
No Madonna and Child could touch
Her tenderness for a son
She soon would have to forget. . . .
The air was heavy with odours of diarrhea,
Of unwashed children with washed-out ribs
And dried-up bottoms waddling in labored steps
Behind blown-empty bellies. Other mothers there
Had long ceased to care, but not this one:
She held a ghost-smile between her teeth,
And in her eyes the memory
Of a mother’s pride. . . .She had bathed him
And rubbed him down with bare palms.
She took from their bundle of possessions
A broken comb and combed
The rust-colored hair left on his skull
And then—humming in her eyes—began carefully to part it.
In their former life this was perhaps
A little daily act of no consequence
Before his breakfast and school; now she did it
Like putting flowers on a tiny grave.
Explore the poem in terms of its style/linguistic features:
• Similes
• Metaphors
• Personification
• Structural features
Identify the features within the poem that link well to the Big Idea, such as:

• How is the poet communicating the Big Idea?
Red.
• How does the poem relate to the Big Idea?
Gray.
• Is the society represented in the poem a just one?
Mint.
• Is there an example of undue suffering in the poem?
Brown.
• How does it compare to the other situations you have explored? Think about your mind maps from earlier….

Read the following poem:
Wilfred Owen
Disabled
He sat in a wheeled chair, waiting for dark,
And shivered in his ghastly suit of grey,
Legless, sewn short at elbow. Through the park
Voices of boys rang saddening like a hymn,
Voices of play and pleasure after day,
Till gathering sleep had mothered them from him.
About this time Town used to swing so gay
When glow-lamps budded in the light-blue trees
And girls glanced lovelier as the air grew dim,
— In the old times, before he threw away his knees.
Now he will never feel again how slim
Girls' waists are, or how warm their subtle hands,
All of them touch him like some queer disease.
There was an artist silly for his face,
For it was younger than his youth, last year.
Now he is old; his back will never brace;
He's lost his colour very far from here,
Poured it down shell-holes till the veins ran dry,
And half his lifetime lapsed in the hot race,
And leap of purple spurted from his thigh.
One time he liked a blood smear down his leg,
After the matches carried shoulder-high.
It was after football, when he'd drunk a peg,
He thought he'd better join. He wonders why . . .
Someone had said he'd look a god in kilts.
That's why; and maybe, too, to please his Meg,
Aye, that was it, to please the giddy jilts,
He asked to join. He didn't have to beg;
Smiling they wrote his lie; aged nineteen years.

Of Fear came yet. He thought of jewelled hilts
For daggers in plaid socks; of smart salutes;
And care of arms; and leave; and pay arrears;

Esprit de corps; and hints for young recruits.
And soon, he was drafted out with drums and cheers.
Some cheered him home, but not as crowds cheer Goal.
Only a solemn man who brought him fruits
Thanked him; and then inquired about his soul.
Now, he will spend a few sick years in Institutes,
And do what things the rules consider wise,
And take whatever pity they may dole.
To-night he noticed how the women's eyes
Passed from him to the strong men that were whole.
How cold and late it is! Why don't they come
And put him into bed? Why don't they come?

In relation to the Big Idea, how does the poem explore the theme of justice?
This poem relates directly to the theme of justice. This part marked with red, shows us that the world is full of injustice. He fought with all his might, devoting himself to save the country. No one knows that he became disabled after the war. He even feels like people are avoiding him without knowing what he did to our society. This is injustice because the people should care more about these kinds of people in order to let them live rest of their life with hope and dreams. Their life would be full of desire. People should care and think more about what other people would feel about certain things.

Use quotes from the poem to support your points and use the discussion from Task 1 to influence your response. In addition, discuss the context of the poem within your response.

Recording Activity

Write your own poem that conveys a theme of justice, injustice, suffering, or lack of fairness in society, relating back to the Big Idea and your initial mind map.

I DO NOT anticipate you having this completed upon my return, but I certainly expect, at a minimum, you to have a complete analysis of the poems!

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