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Analysis of to a Bedbug by Sam Mbure

Two important messages surfaced from the complaining voice of the poem speaker are; the victim's constant nuptial lost of blood and the victim's poverty condition. It can be said that one problem led to another in the sense that it might be the poem speaker's poverty that caused his "little bed" infested.

Sam Mbure, in this poem title "To A Bedbug" wrote about the negative effect and the inconvenience caused by bedbug; not only that, the chosen words of the poem marveled at the wisdom of the bedbug. Saying that the "tiny creature" only takes advantage of his unconscious sleeping state to feed and breed in his bed.


Clever thou art, tiny creature;
You attend me when I am deep asleep;
When thou art sure, I can’t you capture,
Just at the time I snore deep.

‘Tis so strange that before twilight,
The bed clear of you would seem;
For not one of you is in my sight;
As if your presence was in a dream

Mbure adopted the use of Elizabethan English to communicate his poem to the readers, such found in line 9 and 11 "thou art". Imagery is also evident; image of manner and of sight "you awful parasite", "By sucking blood from my poor head", "Just at the time I snore deep."

Sam Mbure is a Kenyan poet and author who is fond of writing and publishing collections of children's stories. Sam Mbure is an African and it widely known till this day that poverty and suffering are ravaging the continent beyond present attempted repairs. The suffering and poverty in Africa are linked to many factors such as cultural dogma, bad maintenance, greed bred oppression, and many more. Sam Mbure employed a very funny angle of human living to express the human problem of Africans.

It is very reasonable for the reader of the poem to relate with the setting, which has to do with the night and the tiny bed. The speaker of the poem supported his setting with words like "snore deep" "deep asleep" "tiny creature" "twilight" "For supper, diner and lunch".

How did Mbure managed to develop his themes? A very good question to consider. Few of the themes in the poem are (i) the effect of poverty (ii) the intelligence and nature of bedbugs. Though the poem didn't obviously broaden the message of poverty but the complaining voice of the speaker depicted a suffering person sleeping a "tiny bed" without escape from bedbugs sucking his "poor head". When the commenced, the voice of the poem, in his bewilderment, referred to the bedbugs as parasite sharing his bed uninvited. To feed and breed, the bugs depended solely on him which made him to ponder how plenty human blood can be.

The poem carried so much absolutely the image of sight and emotion; "awful parasite" "from my sweet dreams be lost" "is so strange that before twilight/ The bed clear of you would seem". There is synecdoche in line 5 "head" and metonym in line 1 "parasite". Alliteration in line 9 "my bed breed".

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Samuel C. Enunwa aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo with wings flying)
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