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What are the poetic devices used in the poem An African Elegy?

What are the poetic devices used in the poem An African Elegy?

1 Answer

    1. Metaphor: “We are the miracles that God made to taste the bitter fruit of time.”  A figure of speech to describe an object or an action by making a comparison of ideas. This line highlights that one should put trust in God, even if things look bleak at the moment. All of God’s creations are precious and they all undergo sufferings but these sufferings will be momentary. Okri urges the African natives to keep hope and optimism even during these hardships.
    2. Irony: “This life is good.” An expression to normally define something that signifies the opposite for humorous effect. It serves as an irony to the greater picture of the poem as in reality their life is filled with struggles and sufferings.
    3. Personification: “Destiny is our friend,” “It makes the air remember.” Attribution of human characteristics to something abstract or non-human. Personifying these lines help in showing the inevitable fate of human lives. Destiny is predetermined and that everyone should remember, even the nature around one is aware.
    4. Symbolism: “Bitter fruit,” “An African Elegy” A figure of speech which denotes a larger than life context. The very title of the poem gives way to faith and optimism rather than following the pattern of a mournful lament of an elegy. Even the symbol of a “bitter fruit” stands for manhood.

    An African Elegy Summary

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