Monday, January 26, 2009

Forty Acres: A Poem for Barack Obama Analysis

This inspiring poem brings to the people a man that fulfilled a prophecy, a man that will lead the country through change to new pastures. This poem is to inspire hope and strength in all peoples of this nation, to find power to create change and bring a better life. In the first stanza, Walcott brings us the image of a young Negro, who connects us to the past and to our present in President Obama. The crowd divides not only by party and ideology affiliation, but parting to give him way to go through this, "... field of snow-flecked cotton" (Walcott, NP). In the next section we find that this ploughman is besieged by crows crying omens of doom, owls, and a scarecrow in rage. His ancestors, and also the Americans of the past, are unforgotten as he moves on his way. The ploughman is set upon by watchful owls, potentially representative of the Judicial Branch. The Scarecrow, representing the past and those that hate him, is unable to convey words of power and can only quiver and stamp in anger as he moves along. The small plough mentioned in the next section might represent a beginning or wistful thoughts and hope, plowing through the groans of the defeated and distrustful, the tree of destruction, where good men died because of the prejudices and ignorance of others, and a tornado of hatred. This ploughman can feel hope rising and potential inside him, throughout his body while he makes furrows of the land that is ripe for new beginnings and relations. In the last section, the land is compared with a simile to a flag as morning comes and change is on the horizon. I feel the last line is especially powerful with, "... and furrows wait for the sower" (Walcott, NP). This last line gives us the image that his work will not end just yet... more has to be done to bring the nation to wholeness and bring strength back to a people that is crying out in need. Who is the sower? Perhaps the sower represents Obama again... or perhaps with him as the ploughman, the enablers to bring physical reality to these hopes. Tactile work will have to be done to make these dreams come true with President Obama at the helm.

After reading this poem, I felt that this was an accurate poem to President Obama's declarations and quite worthy of praise. Obama as the ploughman, bringing a bright future to the people. Amidst the cries of the nay-sayers, the ploughman moves along... and so shall we.

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