‘Even Tho’ by Grace Nichols LO) To explore how Nichols conveys the nature of relationship through language and structure. What impression of the poem do you get from these images? Grace Nichols Grace Nichols grew up in Guyana, on the northern coast of South America, facing onto the Caribbean. This poem explores the nature of relationship in this type of environment. Grace Nichols – creating a ‘voice’ Keywords: Creole, standard English, poet's voice, language choice, relationships, carnival, succulent First, read the poem Animation Standard English Shows convergence of both cultures Creole dialect Even Tho Sounds primitive With contrasting feelings 4 line stanza shows togetherness of the two Shows love + togetherness Man I love but won’t let you devour To consume greedily, she sees herself as fruit for him to eat, Gives impression that he has fairly dominant role even tho I’m all watermelon and starapple and plum when you touch me Extended metaphor for him eating her – image suggests physically involved. 1st 2 lines show contrasting feelings Exotic fruitssucculent, juicy. A metaphor for herself. Suggests she’s soft, exotic for him 4 line stanza continues breaks with 1st + last stanza reinforces their separate Identities. Links to primal language. Creole dialect used to convey convergence with Guyana culture Primal language used, suggests instinctiveness even tho I’m all seamoss and jellyfish and tongue Slightly less appealing image + more orientated towards taste/ texture rather than food. Juxtaposition of these items is unusual but continues Caribbean theme. celebration Come leh we go to de carnival You be banana Metaphors – idea of more balanced relationship as they are both portrayed as I be avocado fruit + go to carnival togethe Creole dialect helps to reinforce Caribbean atmosphere Enjoyable, indulgent Contrasting feeling returns Repetition and rhyme Come helps to reinforce their leh we hug up physical connection and brace-up and sweet one another up But then leh we break free yes, leh we break free Suggests forcefully disconnect, repetition of ‘break’ suggests it’s difficult to do Continued enjambment reinforces sense of ‘breaking free’ throughout the poem And keep to de motion of we own person/ality Oxymoron – reinforces contrast of individuals together Language: the combination of standard English and Creole link colonial roots. Moves seamlessly from one to the other, like Nichols’ own comments on her feeling at home in both cultures. individual Links back to line 8/9 of sea They stay true + strong to themselves Possibly expressing the need for individuals to maintain their own Identities. Guyana enriched by Caribbean, myths + landscape + culture. This poem embraces both How does the poet use language, form and punctuation to convey the nature of the relationship in the poem ‘Even tho’. o show an understanding of the use of language, form and punctuation o demonstrate the ability to make relevant connections between the techniques used and the presentation of the nature of the relationship; o use the ‘PEEE’ technique to show the link between form and point of view. Plenary • Have you: – understood the ways Nichols has used language and structure to convey the nature of her relationship; – connected with the different attitudes presented. • Discuss how successfully the poet conveys the balance of being close and yet still needing freedom within a relationship. • For English Literature, find another poem in Relationships that explores a relationship between a woman and a man through one (or more) strong personal voice. Compare the impact that the relationship has on them as readers.