By Denys Lefebvre
The time has been dry, and no rain,
The whole earth has care, want and pain.
The air is hot and cruel dictator
Where should I go and seek peaceful shelter?
The fertile seed-beds of Shrawan have been damaged
All the hamlets looked as ruined as bald head
Sad are the whole tillable land or field,
A famine rose up and the pleasures killed.
Like the heat of the fire is the burning sun
Growing is the violent heat of conflagration,
The haze occurred in the gloomy appearance,
The time also has terrorist’s defiance.
All the flowers are panic-stricken now,
Partridges cry in fear and care on bough,
It’s pity! The black eagle cry for rain,
There’s a painful story of barbet hen.
Deposer is the violent drought, no doubts,
That has emptied the grain-store of the house,
The zeal and jubilation has faded away
Misfortune laughed at people’s teary way.
Summary of Drought
- Popularity of “Drought”: Drought was written by Denys Lefebvre, a famous African journalist, critic, and poet. It is a sad, poetic piece and explicitly depicts the painful situation draught created in the surroundings. It illustrates how this natural calamity put causes people to suffer badly. The vivid description of the catastrophe, its impact on people, and the clever use of poetic elements have made this poem deep, unique, and appealing.
- “Drought” As a Representative of Acute Misery: The poem presents the disastrous situation people face during draughts. It begins with the time of dryness when the whole earth is in pain due to the absence of rain and air. This tragic climatic situation has turned the fertile earth into a barren land. Unfortunately, due to these extreme weather conditions, fields are destroyed. It adds more to the misery in the form of famine. The burning sun harms fields and crops and causes smog. The speaker compares these trying times with a terrorist challenge to meet in combat. After describing the painful impact of the drought upon humanity, the speaker illustrates how it affects the natural world. He explains it has cast a single shadow on plants, flowers, and birds, even though they are in pain. Thus, draught has stolen the absolute joy of the people and made them suffer immensely.
- Major Themes in “Drought”: The miserable condition of humanity, drastic climatic situation, and sufferings are the major themes of the poem. Throughout the text, the speaker tries to highlight how climatic changes affect the lives of humans, plants, and birds equally. Not only humans but also animals and trees get vulnerable to the pain that comes along with the draughts and famines. The speaker shows no matter how far mangoes in this advanced world, he will always need nature to satisfy his basic instincts.
Analysis of Literary Devices Used in Drought
Literary devices are techniques that writers use to convey their ideas, feelings, and message to the readers. Denys Lefebvre used various literary devices to enhance the intended impacts of his poem. Some of the major literary devices have been analyzed below.
- Assonance: Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in the same line. For example, the sound of /ee/ in “Where should I go and seek peaceful shelter?”.
- Alliteration: Alliteration means the use of successive consonant sounds in the initials of the successive words. For example, /d/ in “drought, no doubts.”
- Consonance: Consonance is the repetition of consonant sounds in the same line. For example, the sound of /t/ in “That has emptied the grain-store of the house” and the sound of /r/ in “The air is hot and cruel dictator.”
- Enjambment: It is defined as a thought in verse that does not come to an end at a line break. Instead, it rolls over to the next line. For example,
“The zeal and jubilation has faded away
Misfortune laughed at people’s teary way.”
- Imagery: Imagery is used to make readers perceive things involving their five senses. For example, “The time has been dry, and no rain”, “The haze occurred in the gloomy appearance” and “The zeal and jubilation has faded away.”
- Metaphor: It is a figure of speech in which an implied comparison is made between the objects that are different. The poem uses natural disasters as an extended metaphor to show how they disturb the harmony of life.
- Personification: Personification is to give human qualities to inanimate objects. For example, “The whole earth has care, want and pain”, “The air is hot and cruel dictator” and “All the flowers are panic-stricken now.”
- Rhetorical Question: Rhetorical question is a question that is not asked to receive an answer; it is just posed to make the point clear. The poet used a rhetorical question in the first stanza. For example, “Where should I go and seek peaceful shelter?”
- Symbolism: Symbolism is using symbols to signify ideas and qualities, giving them symbolic meanings that are different from literal meanings. Here “burning sun” and “violent drought” are symbols of disasters and their impacts on man’s life.
Analysis of Poetic Devices Used in Drought
Poetic and literary devices are the same, but a few are used only in poetry. Here is the analysis of some of the poetic devices used in this poem.
- End Rhyme: End rhyme is used to make the stanza melodious. Denys Lefebvre has used end rhyme in this poem, such as “rain/pain”, “away/way” and “now/bough.”
- Rhyme Scheme: The poem follows the rhyme scheme of ABAB until the last stanza.
- Quatrain: The poem has been written in quatrains, a Persian stanza form.
- Stanza: A stanza is a poetic form of some lines. There are five stanzas in this poem, with each comprising different lines.
Quotes to be Used
These lines are relevant to use while talking about the difficulties people face following some gruesome incidents.
“Deposer is the violent drought, no doubts,
That has emptied the grain-store of the house,
The zeal and jubilation has faded awayMisfortune laughed at people’s teary way.”