‘Even Tho’ by Grace NicholsLO) To explore how Nichols conveys the nature of relationship through language and structure.
Grace Nichols Grace Nichols grew up in Guyana, on the northern coast of South America, facing onto the Caribbean. This poem explores the nature of relationship in this type of environment. Grace Nichols – creating a ‘voice’ Keywords: Creole, standard English, poet's voice, language choice, relationships, carnival, succulent Web link!
First, read the poem Animation
Shows convergence of both cultures Standard English Creole dialect EvenTho Sounds primitive Shows love + togetherness Man I love but won’t let you devour even tho I’m all watermelon and starapple and plum when you touch me 1st 2 lines show contrasting feelings With contrasting feelings To consume greedily, she sees herself as fruit for him to eat, Gives impression that he has fairly dominant role 4 line stanza shows togetherness of the two Exotic fruits-succulent, juicy. A metaphor for herself. Suggests she’s soft, exotic for him Extended metaphor for him eating her – image suggests physically involved.
Slightly less appealing image + more orientated towards taste/ texture rather than food. Juxtaposition of these items is unusual but continues Caribbean theme. 4 line stanza continues breaks with 1st + last stanza reinforces their separate Identities. even tho I’m all seamoss and jellyfish and tongue Come leh we go to de carnival You be banana I be avocado Links to primal language. celebration Creole dialect used to convey convergence with Guyana culture Metaphors – idea of more balanced relationship as they are both portrayed as fruit + go to carnival together Primal language used, suggests instinctiveness
Creole dialect helps to reinforce Caribbean atmosphere Repetition and rhyme helps to reinforce their physical connection Come leh we hug up and brace-up and sweet one another up But then leh we break free yes, leh we break free Enjoyable, indulgent Continued enjambment reinforces sense of ‘breaking free’ throughout the poem Contrasting feeling returns Suggests forcefully disconnect, repetition of ‘break’ suggests it’s difficult to do
Links back to line 8/9 of sea And keep to de motion of we ownperson/ality Oxymoron – reinforces contrast of individuals together individual They stay true + strong to themselves Possibly expressing the need for individuals to maintain their own Identities. Language: the combination of standard English and Creole link colonial roots. Moves seamlessly from one to the other, like Nichols’ own comments on her feeling at home in both cultures. Guyana enriched by Caribbean, myths + landscape + culture. This poem embraces both
How does the poet use language, form and punctuation to convey the nature of the relationship in the poem ‘Even tho’. • show an understanding of the use of language, form and punctuation • demonstrate the ability to make relevant connections between the techniques used and the presentation of the nature of the relationship; • use the ‘PEEE’ technique to show the link between form and point of view.
Plenary • Have you: • understood the ways Nichols has used language and structure to convey the nature of her relationship; • connected with the different attitudes presented. • Discuss how successfully the poet conveys the balance of being close and yet still needing freedom within a relationship. • For English Literature, find another poem in Relationships that explores a relationship between a woman and a man through one (or more) strong personal voice. Compare the impact that the relationship has on them as readers.