Overhead In County Slogi And Woman Work

– Comparison Essay, Research Paper

In this essay where I am going to discuss the similaritys and differences between two poems. “Woman Work” written by Maya Angelou, which is about a woman who works all the time and just wants to rest. The second poem is called “overheard in County Sigo” written by Gillian Clarke which is about a married woman having a conversation with her friend about her life and looking back at what her ambitions were.

“Woman Work” is a regular 5 stanza, rhyming poem, It is set in southern USA. We know this because of the way she talkes “The cane to be cut” Cane is grown in southern USA, “I gotta clean up this hut” Hut is what she calles her house “And the cotton to Pick” cotton also grows in USA. It’s about this womanwho’s either single or doesn’t get any help from her partener/husband. She’s always doing something, looking after the children – “I’ve got the children to tend”, housework – “I gotta clean up this hut”, shopping – “The food to shop” or farmwork, – “The cane to be cut”, “And the cotton to pick”.

“Overheard in County Sligo” is another regular 5 stanza, rhyming poem. It is set in Ireland. It is about a married woman who “married a man from county Roscommon” and she’s talking about what her ambitions were – “I had thaught to work on the Abbey Stage” “or have my name in a book”. It doesn’t sound like she’s happy but she won’t leave – “the freedom’s there for the taking” but she never went.

There are several themes in “Woman work”, one of them being Work. We can see this in the first stanza . She lists all the things she’s got to do. Another theme being lonleiness. We can see this by the fact that she only mentions her children there, she may want someone to talk to her or help her with all her work. Mainly she just wants a rest.

The theme in “Overheard in county Sligo” is basically life, it’s all about a woman having a conversation with a friend or someone she knows and someone else just happend to be listening. The housewife is telling her friend about herself, and the fact that she wanted to leave her life but she never did – “the freedoms there for the taking”

In “Woman Work” the poet Maya Angelou has made it so the reader can see a womandoing all this work in the reader’s head, and how life must have been like for her. There are no similies in this poem. None of the 5 stanza’s are used to evoke reactions in the poem either. “Woman Work” has a long forst stanza and all the other stanza’s are 4 lines ones.

“Overheard in County Sligo” has regular 4 lined stanza’s all the way through the poem in all of the 5 stanza’s.

When reading “Woman Work” the first stanxa has no punctuation untill the last line, so it is breathtaking.

The message that the poet is trying to get through to the reader in “Woman Work” is how horrible life can be and the things you have to do to live. Also when I was reading this poem I was trying to think what the woman in this poem would have done when she was educated. Two things came into my mind.

1. She got really bad results and no qualifications so she ended up doing things like this, instead of getting a proper job. So the poet might be trying to emphasise how important it is for children to try their best at school.

2. She didn’t do too bad at school but she got children at a younge age and that took most of her time so because she’s single she can’t go to work as when you get children you need to be looking over them all of the time to make sure they don’t get hurt or have any accident, and because she wasn’t working she didn’t have enough money to get a babysitter or something.

The message that the poet is trying to get across in the poem “Overheard in County Sligo”is that sometimes you want more than you’ve got, you’re not happy but then you’re not unhappy enough to leave where you are and that most of the things you want to do when you grow up you never do.

I havn’t really thaught much about poems, I don’t like them and I don’t understand them. I think that poets are just writing poems for fun/money and that there isn’t much point behind them. Like storys ok some of them are based from real life experiences of the writter but I don’t see how that is going to help us, apart from it teaches us to read. I don’t really like reading books, poems and stuff.


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