Feed on

There were numerous interesting differences between Goodison’s poems, specifically “The Road of the Dread” and “Songs of the Sweet Fruits of Childhood.” After reading about Lorna Goodison, it is clear to see where she got her inspiration from in the stylistic and linguistic differences presented in the poems.
The most noticeable difference between these poems (in my opinion) is the way Goodison uses language. Readers can see in “The Road of the Dread” that Goodison can connect with her Jamaican roots, allowing her to tell a beautifully told story from a believable perspective. The poem was written phonetically, further letting audience members explore the meaning behind the l used.

“and yu catch a glimpse of the end//
through the water in yu eye//
I wont tell yu what I spy//
but is fi dat alone I tread this road”

“The Road of the Dread” seems to discuss racial issues by use of the phrases “black-face road” and referring directly to color. A lovely component of this story is that even though it is written phonetically, Goodison was able to write it in a way which can be understood and interpreted by almost any English speaker, conveying a deep and meaningful message about social and personal issues. Goodison’s intellect is impressive and easily makes sense after reading her biography. (This is, of course, not to assume she is not an intellectual because of the language used in this specific poem, more so because her biography allows an insight into all of her academic and life experiences.)
On top of being a government official, Lorna Goodison was also

“a painter, prose writer, and screenwriter, a teacher…” (599).

Her successes outside of poetry contribute not only to the plot of the stories she achieves to tell but also influences the themes she focuses on.

“Songs of the Sweet Fruits of Childhood” uses fantastic, captivating language which readers may accurately assume Goodison pulls from real-world experience, serving as her research for the writing process. In the quotation,

“Tough skinned//
brown pods//
of stinking toe//
you broke open hard//
upon stone//
to free the pungent//
dry powdery musk//
called by some,//

readers become very familiar with the descriptive and pleasing prose, as well as the syntax Goodison uses. Even though audience members begin with imagery of a toe, we are soon filled with thoughts of a beautiful locust flower. Clearly “The Road of the Dread” and “Songs of the Sweet Fruits of Childhood” have numerous differences, including prose, syntax used, plot, and language used in general. However, this also begs the question if Goodison would have been as successful with “The Road of the Dread” without her experience writing other highly descriptive poems and work experience. While it may seem more straightforward to have written, I believe it must have been much more difficult to write “The Road of the Dread” rather than “Songs of the Sweet Fruits of Childhood.”

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.