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Figures of Speech, Sound and Poetic Devices in Freetown – Syl Cheney – Coker

Figures of Speech and Poetic Devices in Freetown by Syl Cheney – Coker will be discussed in this post. Attention will be focused on the figures of speech, figures of sound and literary devices in Freetown.

Analysis of Poetic devices in Freetown by Syl Cheney – Coker

Imagery

The use of Imagery as a poetic device in Freetown by Syl Cheney – Coker will be analysed as they featured line by line.

In lines 1-5, the poet cuts out an image of an “abroad” or “exiled” African who is not comfortable where he is. This imagery puts readers on-line to expect a romantic discussion of Africa, by the poet.

In lines 6-9, the poet cuts out an image of Africa as a centre of the world and a land of diversities. This imagery shows that the poet believes that Africa is blessed enough to be a pride to any African.

In lines 10-20, Syl Cheney-Coker cuts out the image of Africans as people of little or no patriotism, for their negative regards of African cultural diversities. This imagery illustrates the poet’s belief that Africa will gain better, if her cultural diversities are positively regarded.

In lines 21-29, the poet cuts out the image of a peoples’ revolution that will sweep away Africa’s cruel rulers. The imagery illustrates the poet’s belief that it is only a matter of time for oppressive rule to be eradicated in Africa.

In lines 30-34, the poet cuts out the image of a new and normal Africa to be fostered by a Union of African States. This imagery shows Cheny-Coker’s belief that the progress of Africa continent can best be achieved under a single united government.

Mood

The use of Mood as a poetic device in Freetown by Syl Cheney – Coker will be analysed as it featured in the poem.

In this poem, Syl Cheney-Coker is troubled, because his beloved Africa is not progressive. He equally suggests the measure to take by fellow Africans to achieve progress for Africa. So, he exhibits the feelings that Africa deserves to be great. Therefore, mood in this poem is passionate.

Tone

The use of Tone as a poetic device in Freetown by Syl Cheney – Coker will be analysed it featured in the poem.

The words used in “Freetown” truly describes every bit of Syl Cheney-Coker’s feelings towards his message. At each stage of his conclusion, the poet’s words accurately show what he expects should be done.

So, tone in this poem is both descriptive and emphatic.

Analysis of Figures of Sound in Freetown by Syl Cheney – Coker

The use Assonance, alliteration and parallelism are the rhythm elements worked into the poem and they cut across the poem.

Assonance

The only case of assonance is exhibited in line 29 of the poem thus: “……..beat in our hearts at night……..”

Alliteration

Cases of alliterative lines are as follows:

"...we with our different designs innumerate facets..." Line 8

"...my creation haunts me behind the mythical dream..." Line 15

"...there are those who when they come to plead..." Line 22

"...but we African wandering urchins..." Line 25

Parallelism

Lines 15 and 16 are in parallelism:

"...my creation haunts me behind the mythical dream..."

"...my river dammed by the poisonous weeds in its bed..."

Figures of Speech in the poem

The imageries and message of this poem are shown through speech figures like metaphor, metonymy, oxymoron, simile and symbolism.

Metaphor

In line 8, this phrase: ” our different designs innumerable facets…” is a piece of metaphor. It implies the many cultural beliefs in Africa.

In line 9, this phrase “mother’s womb of the earth ” is a piece of metaphor. It is a description of Africa as the centre of the world.

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In line 14 this phrase: “… the poem of your life …” is a piece of metaphor. It implies praise.

In line 34, this phrase: “… ferocious civilization …” is a piece of metaphor. It implies cruel rule or oppressive government.

Metonymy

In line 5, this phrase: ” neon-eyed gods “ is a metonymy for motor vehicles with bright and sharp headlamps.

The following lines also contain metonymy:

"...I think of my brothers with "black skins and white masks"

"...my sisters who plaster their skins with white cosmetics"

For instance, the Africans who have value foreign culture more than African culture are the people whom Syl Cheney Coker metonymically called brothers and sisters in the lines.

Between lines 23 and 24, this expression – ” Black Englishmen decorated Afro-Saxon Creole masters . ” is a piece of metonymy. It refers to cruel African rulers. (Those called Black Englishmen decorated Afro-Saxon creole masters ” are the British freed African slaves settled in Freetown, Capital of Sierra Leone, in early 19th Century.

So, Syl Cheney-Coker is directly comparing the present cruel governance in Africa to the cruel manner these ex-slaves maltreated the natives of Sierra Leone, then).

Oxymoron

This phrase “…citade of disgust..” is a piece of oxymoron. Here, the oxymoron implies his unhappiness that Africa is badly managed.

Simile

Line 2 of the poem run below exhibits the simile:

“…wandering like a Fulani cow…”

Symbolism

The word “Freetown” used as the title of this poem, as well as this phrase: shadows of Freetown …” in line 33 represent a single piece of symbolism. So, the poem is not describing Freetown the capital city of Sierra Leone. Rather, the poet is drawing a symbolic reference from the history of Freetown to illustrate some points he is making on the events in Africa. This historical reference is the cruel way the ex-slaves of Freetown called Creoles ruled the natives of Sierra Leone: in the early 19th Century.

In line 25, the phrase: “…we African wandering urchins is a piece of symbolism for the poor people of Africa.

In lines 30 and 32, this expression: ” … the seven hundred parts of your race …united inside your womb …” is a piece of symbolism for the entire nations of Africa. The symbolism is the poet’s opinion that al the nations of Africa should form a single united government.

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Davidposh of Campusvibes

I'm a dedicated and progressive individual with an exceptional work ethic and client oriented service aptitude. I write to inform and educate. Currently I'm an English language students Lagos State University.

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