In the Midst of Hardship by Latiff Mohidin
At dawn they returned home
their soaky clothes torn
and approached the stove
their limbs marked by scratches
their legs full of wounds
but on their brows
there was not a sign of despair
The whole day and night just passed
they had to brave the horrendous flood
in the water all the time
between bloated carcasses
and tiny chips of tree barks
desperately looking for their son’s
albino buffalo that was never found
They were born amidst hardship
and grew up without a sigh or a complaint
now they are in the kitchen, making
jokes while rolling their ciggarete leaves
In this poem, the poet tells of the situation of a farmer and his family. They come back at dawn after being out in the floodwater for a day and night. They are looking for their albino buffalo. They come back wet and hurt but they do not show any despair. They have been born into a life of hardship and have never complained. Now, they are in the kitchen and they joke and talk while preparing to relax with a smoke.
SYNOPSIS (ACCORDING TO STANZA)
They returned home at dawn and headed for the stove. Their clothes were soaking wet and tattered. Their bodies were covered with scratches and wounds. Yet, they did not display any signs of being worried.
They were out in the flood the whole day and night. They were surrounded by dead animals and parts of trees that had been destroyed by the flood. They searched desperately for their son’s albino buffalo but were unable to find it.
They were born into poverty and difficulty, but they do not complain about their suffer. Instead, they sit in the kitchen, cracking jokes while smoking cigarettes.
The setting of the poem is in the house.
- Stoicism in life
- Family love
- Acceptance of way of life
- We should learn to accept problems in life with a positive outlook.
- We must attempt to face and solve problems.
- Failure is part of growing up.
- Do not despair in the face of failure.
TONE, MOOD, ATMOSPHERE
- Understanding and sympathetic
- Acceptance of situation
POINT OF VIEW
- Third person point of view.
LANGUAGE & STYLE
- Language is simple and easy to understand.
- The style is simple with no rhyming scheme.
- Imagery – Gives picture of poet’s thoughts e.g ‘soaky clothes torn’ and ‘legs full of wounds’
- Alliteration – e.g. ‘but on their brows’
- Symbols – e.g. ‘horrendous flood’ and ‘bloating carcasses’
- Diction – e.g. ‘stove’ and ‘brows‘