In “Love after love” by Derek Walcott and “This room” by Imtiaz Dharker, the poets explore how outs own identity should be celebrated. Walcott portrays this by using positive language such as “elation” and “feast on your life” to show that once you have found your identity, you can celebrate that you have found yourself. Dharker gets her message across by also giving positive images of hands “clapping” which is what people do to celebrate happy occasions. In this case, Dharker could be outside clapping in celebration for finding her own identity.
Both poems use metaphors including “the stranger who has loved you” in “Love after love” and “this room is breaking out of itself”. The room is personified to become Dharker’s mind breaking out and throwing out the nightmares and the dark memories to become who we really want to be. Walcott uses the metaphor of a stranger, which is yourself, because when you are in a relationship, you become someone else and get traits from another person. The stranger in the mirror is the person who you were before you were in a relationship. Both poems are similar because they talk about how were still ourselves before the change but will be who we are after time in “Love after love” and after getting rid the nightmares in “This room”.
The narrative voices in the two poems are very different. Walcott uses authoritative language to advise the reader how to find your identity whereas Dharker uses more metaphors in her poem to get her point across. Walcott’s poem is trying to help us find our identity and to find who we really are. He does this by using many imperative verbs such as “Give wine. Give bread”, “Peel your own images from the mirror” and “Sit. Feast on your life.” This makes Walcott sound advisory and instructive and make the reader follow his advice. Dharker celebrates finding her identity by “pots and pans bang together in celebration” It affects the readers because once we have found ourselves, everything is going to be alright and the pots and pans will celebrate with us. However, she also shows confusion about what to get rid of but wants to get rid of as much as possible to give her brain space and become the person she wants to be. Both poems are similar as they help us find our true identity but one is about how to find ourselves and the other is the celebration of finding ourselves.
The imagery of both poems are similar because they both include celebrating about finding our identity but they also show us how to become ourselves. Walcott shows an image of you “greeting yourself” which is a metaphor of you before you were in a relationship “and each will smile at the other’s welcome” which shows that you have successfully found who you were before the relationship. Dharker has an image of “from dark corners, chairs are rising up to crash through clouds” which can be seen in two ways. It could be seen as the bad memories and thoughts of the chairs are crashing through the clouds and getting rid of the bad memories also from the dark cloud. However, it could also be seen as the bad memories crashing through the clouds and as a consequence, some happy thoughts get lost in the process as well. Nevertheless, this is the only way to get rid of the clutter from inside Dharker’s head.
The tone of both poems are different. “Love after love” by Derek Walcott is more instructive and comforting phrases whereas “This room” by Imtiaz Dharker is a visual poem with lots of excitement and confusion. However, both poems show celebration at the end of the poems such as “Feast on your life” in Love after love and “In all this excitement” in This room. Quotes such as “You will love again the stranger who was your self” in Love after love is very comforting and makes the reader think that after a relationship has ended, life will not be sad. Also, he says “Take down the love-letters from the bookshelf” which is more instructive because he uses imperative verbs to make the reader follow his instructions.
The quote “When the improbable arrives” in This room makes the reader think that nothing is impossible and that getting rid of the bad but also good memories is a good thing to do when it comes to finding your identity. However, there is confusion in Dharker’s poems where “I’ve left my feet” and “my hands are outside clapping” which shows that she could have divided herself in the process and she is still metaphorically two people. But it could also be seen as the hands clapping, which shows happiness, being left outside the room and that she has left some of her good memories in the process of getting rid of the bad thoughts. Walcott’s poem talks shows the reader how to find your identity after a relationship and the celebration from it whereas Dharker’s poem talks about the celebration of finding your identity but it can also come at a price.
Both poems show the importance of finding identity and the importance of finding our true identity, in different ways but it made me think about what makes me, me.