Discuss Kofi Awoonor’s “The Anvil and the Hammer” As A Metaphor Of Two Cultures [NECO GCE NOV/DEC 2017]
“The Anvil and the Hammer” by Kofi Awoonor is a 21 line poem of free verse (void of end rhyme and static rhythms). Though the stanzas are unequal in length, the message of the poet is well digested with aid of carefully employed poetic recipes such as repetition “songs” “washed”, alliteration “tender and tenuous”, symbolism “the anvil and the hammer”, metaphor “sew the old days for us”, etc.
Besides the mentioned poetic devices, the poet’s ideology was metaphorical; starting from the title of the poem down to its context. Written in accordance with the experience of the poet, the poem shows how the poet or the voice in the poem inevitably transformed from a particular way of life (the African culture) into a newly adopted way of life (the Western culture).
Awoonor symbolized both cultures with “the anvil” and “the hammer”. It is a common sense that in line 2 of the poem, civilization was referred to as “the forging house of a new life”. Why is it so? Civilization or rapid universal development gave birth to the poet’s exposure into a new culture (the Western culture).
Enunwa Chukwudinma S aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo with wings flying)