A comparison of planned child by Sandra olds and a Rainy country by Linda PastanAfter reading the twopoems by the renowned poets, one gets tounderstand the similarities in their works.
They both are feminists with well-writtenand direct free verse style poems set to capture a reader’s attention; however,a deeper understanding is required so as to unravel the deeper meaning they aretrying to communicate in their pieces. Therefore, my goal in this paper is tocompare the pieces and show the similarities of Old’s and Pastan’s literary styles of writing.ImageryThe events of the poemsare presented in images that quickly shift places from sad and depressed scenesto beautiful and soothing ones then it changes course back to the original.This puts imagery as one of the main style used by both of the poets (Pastan, 45-58).
Old uses imagery of the sun,Moon, Stars, Orion cartwheeling easilyacross the world to depict the joy she had for being a planned child. She was sohappy that her mother would not have thought of staying in the world withouther thus she had to plan for the birth.In Pastan’s poem in thefirst stanza, she uses imagery of the headlines and feature stories leaking blood allover the breakfast table and the wounding of the world mingling with the smellsof bacon and bread is used to explain how the country was deep in tragedy androtten (Baker, 288-301). This is used tocreate a picture in the reader’s mind of how the rot was deeply rooted in thesociety.
Atmosphere /MoodThe mood or atmosphere isthe feeling that is created in a poem. Old in Planned Child sets a somber moodat the beginning by criticizing her mother’s act of planning the birth. She attests to the fact that herbirth was well organized and calculated (Aube,140-156). She wanted according to his own words “to be conceived in heat,by mistake, in haste, in love, in sex and not oncardboard.” She, therefore, allows the reader to feel her emotions onthe subject.Pastan also maintains avery somber mood in the poem the raining country. She uses it to make thereader feel what exactly was going on in the country (Baker, 288-301).
In the first stanza she says that the headlinesand feature stories were leaking blood all over the breakfast table and thewounding of the world mingling with the smells of bacon and bread, this sets asad scene for the reader, preparing them for an unpleasing situation in thepoem.Metaphors Pastan’s work is majorlya metaphorical piece. He uses metaphors to describe almost the whole piece. Metaphorsare a literal style used to compare objects which are rather dissimilar. Sheuses the Trojan women which is a tragedy written by the ancient Greek playwriter Euripides (Baker, 288-301). Itcenters mainly on the horror of war and its aftermath.
Thus, this serves as theperfect fit to describe the mood in the poem, which is tragic, and beyondredemption.She continues to compare herself to the queen of a rainy countrywho is old and powerless in the last stanza. This is metaphorical to mean thatshe can do nothing about the situation in the country because she cannotcontrol the rain, which in this case the rain represents the tragic situationin the country. Thus, the dawn of a new day and she continues with her dailyroutine oblivious of what is happening in the country.Old metaphoricallycompares the wine being poured into the wine glass to the blood with grainytiny clots that helps relieve the mother of the pain of delivery by smoothingthe way. The wine thus helps create and relieves olds mind and allows her toview her birth as a planned baby to be a right decision.
Theme: Feminism Pastan’s reference toherself as the queen of a rainy country who is old and powerless is an embrace of feminism. With the reference, she puts itupon herself to be responsible for the tragic situation of the country (Baker, 288-301). It is only tragic becauseshe cannot do anything to remedy the situation in the country. She brings a different feminine angle toissues such as aging, loss, and death Old in the Planned childdepicts the woman as a character to whom the decision to bring to life solelydepends on. This is brought out with theimagery used when the mother is conceiving the child.
‘ she was bearing down andthen breathing in the mask and the bearing down and pushing me out to the worldthat was not enough for her without me in it’. This establishes the role of awoman in the society and makes it even better because she endures all the painand trouble of bringing a child to the world (Pastan,45-58). Thus putting the woman on the same level as the man whose rolein the society is rather overratedcompared to the women. Unexpectedness of lifeIn Old’s planned child,she brings out the theme of the unexpectednessof life by criticizing the act of her mother planning her birth; it is expected that in a normal lifesituation one is expected to be grateful that they were not born by accident.However, Old goes ahead to suggest that she ought to have been born in an unexpectedand unplanned time.
Pastan in the Rainingcountry compares herself to the queen of the raining country who is old andpowerless. She goes on to continue with her life as if nothing is happening (Baker, 288-301). In a normal setting, she was supposed to try and remedy thesituation especially when she has made such crucial observations. “I havethumbed through the pages of my life” is a phrase she uses to show that she hadseen what would happen in the future. If she knew what to expect she then oughtto have at least done something to help remedy the situation.Conclusion From analyzing the two poems, we find that they use similar themes and literal styles.
This, therefore, assists the two toaddress their issues in a more clear and effective way. The similarity makestheir work stand out as one of the best poets who has gone ahead to address various issues that most poets fail toaddress, a good example being feminism and politics in the society.