Sunday, 30 September 2012 @ 20:30 | 0 Comment [s]Don't we all love Mid-Autumn, when the moon shines in the sky like never before, with its rays of light slipping into our mortal forms and touching our very souls.
I promised I'd post up my response to "The Table", which I will, now... ;)
The poet creates a sense of tedium through the repetition of words. We first see that the first two lines - "Beware, the rectangular slab squares you." are repeated at the very end of the poem. The poet also repeats the word 'same' in the sixth stanza - "same forms, same deadlines, same surveys, same complaints, same compliments and same old story again and again." The poet also makes use of references to a prison - in the third stanza, "to interminable years, hew at rocks, polish the chains, stare at white walls till you see black lines; a peculiar number-juggling word mumbling enclosure..." We also notice here that the stanza is written as a continuous line, bringing about a sense of tedium. The poet also uses words like 'interminable years' and 'circuitous years' to bring forth the imagery of a long and tiresome wait, creating a sense of tedium in the poem.
Repeating the same two lines of the poem seems to bring about the sense that the author is warning its readers, emphasizing on the fact that 'the rectangular slab' would 'square' us. It is as though the poet feels that the 'rectangular slab' is dangerous, and is warning his readers from approaching it.
I think the poet is warning his readers, probably a student or a teacher, against the modern education system. We have to consider that the poet constantly refers to the tables as 'the rectangular slab', as though it was an object that he despised and hated. We also notice that he mentions that the table 'squares you'. What the poet means is that sitting at a table, probably in the setting of a classroom, would 'square' your mindset, in other words, you would be unable to have opinions of your very own, and neither would you be able to think creatively. 'Square' here can refer to uniformity, to strictness, straightforwardness, and also can refer to the lack of excitement. And thus, in the very first stanza we can see the poet warning us against the concept of a uniform education, with him making references to how a 'table' would limit our abilities.
In the second and third stanza, the poet calls the table a 'prison', and presents a long line of descriptions of what the table would do. The fact that the table was compared to a prison shows us the poet's strong dislike for the table, or rather, a classroom. He later calls the table an 'enclosure' in the third stanza, and even says, "stare at white walls until you see black lines." What the poet is trying to say here is that whilst at a table, we are made to see what is not there. This could also refer to how our mindsets are tainted with knowledge that we are given, with our mindsets referred to as 'white walls' and knowledge referred to as 'black lines'. We also notice that the poet uses the colors black and white, showing the monotonous and mundane feel that the table is supposed to give. And hence, we can see in this stanza that the poet is showing us how education is twisting our mindsets, as we are made to think and learn in only one, boring, dull way.
Later, in the fourth stanza, he mentions that "great talkers corner you to prove their wit (And your lack of it.)". What the poet is trying to say is that the teachers wish to prove to us that they are intelligent, and we have to follow along their thinking as we are presumed to have less intellect. The poet even refers to the teachers as 'great talkers' instead of educators, presumably to show that the only thing they were good in was simply to talk. Such a negative portrayal of the teachers would mean that the poet feels strongly against the education system, and thus warning us against it.
I've been featuring of other languages lately, and I can't help it, anyway!
Although today's song has some... naughty connotations. Sssh!
Hakuna Matata! :p
[Song-Of-The-Post: Malchik Gay](Check out the top!)