"The Slave's Dream"

Reply Sat 4 Oct, 2008 11:37 pm
I would like to know how Henry Longfellow uses his "techniques" to bring out the theme of longing for homeland in "The Slaves Dream".
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Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2008 01:39 am
Hannah9313 wrote:

I would like to know how Henry Longfellow uses his "techniques" to bring out the theme of longing for homeland in "The Slaves Dream".

Some of us don't mind helping with your homework...but it helps to give us the poem:

The Slave's Dream

Beside the ungathered rice he lay,
His sickle in his hand;
His breast was bare, his matted hair
Was buried in the sand.
Again, in the mist and shadow of sleep,
He saw his Native Land.

Wide through the landscape of his dreams
The lordly Niger flowed;
Beneath the palm-trees on the plain
Once more a king he strode;
And heard the tinkling caravans
Descend the mountain-road.

He saw once more his dark-eyed queen
Among her children stand;
They clasped his neck, they kissed his cheeks,
They held him by the hand!--
A tear burst from the sleeper's lids
And fell into the sand.

And then at furious speed he rode
Along the Niger's bank;
His bridle-reins were golden chains,
And, with a martial clank,
At each leap he could feel his scabbard of steel
Smiting his stallion's flank.

Before him, like a blood-red flag,
The bright flamingoes flew;
From morn till night he followed their flight,
O'er plains where the tamarind grew,
Till he saw the roofs of Caffre huts,
And the ocean rose to view.

At night he heard the lion roar,
And the hyena scream,
And the river-horse, as he crushed the reeds
Beside some hidden stream;
And it passed, like a glorious roll of drums,
Through the triumph of his dream.

The forests, with their myriad tongues,
Shouted of liberty;
And the Blast of the Desert cried aloud,
With a voice so wild and free,
That he started in his sleep and smiled
At their tempestuous glee.

He did not feel the driver's whip,
Nor the burning heat of day;
For Death had illumined the Land of Sleep,
And his lifeless body lay
A worn-out fetter, that the soul
Had broken and thrown away!

Poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

and it is especially good if you give us some of your thoughts first.

What techniques do you see?
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2008 06:28 am
The title of the poem, explains the simple poem..
A man from the Caribbean, who lives in London but always thinks of his home.
A lot of natural elements are brought out 'blue surf', 'wild seabird'
... im just stuck on HOW to write my answer =/
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2008 06:57 am
Well, I doubt he lives in London, nor that he is from the Caribbean...since it clearly (but with subsequently very little knowledge of Africa) states he lives near the Niger. You may wish to look up where the Niger is, but may find it tends to have part of its being in Nigeria, in Africa.

The man is a SLAVE, who recaptures his freedom by DYING.

I suspect he lived in some part of America where rice is grown, but was born and captured in Africa.

Some of the technique lie in the wild romanticization of the slave's remembered homeland....look at how it is described, and the rather overdone language Longfellow uses.
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