The tone of the poem is sweet and that of praise. The tone glorified the beauty of “The Serving Girl” since ladies eyes are part of the factors that determine their beauty. The tone of the poem also praised the deligence and carefulness of the serving girl.
The setting of the poem is rural. What do I mean by setting? A setting of a poem is the time, place, circustances surrounding the scenario(s) of a poem. Looking at the poem, it is vivid that where the serving girl performed her service was local because the palm wine she served was from a “sleeping palm tree”(line 6) and she served the “food” of her customers or guests
with a calabash “polished and smooth as sandalwood”(line 2) which was contrary to the fact that civilized gathers serve meals in plates or glasswares.
You do not need to stress your brain on the poetic devices.
The poem is simple a 8lines with a simple dictions. It poet strove to attain rhythm and rhyming scheme for the poem.
Simile existed in line 2&3 “smooth as sandalwood”, “white as the foam of the sea”. There are images of sight in line 2 “polished and smooth”, in line 4 “Peppered and golden-fried”, in line 5 “carelessly slips”. The poem personified palm tree giving it a “honeyed lips”. “The countless things she served with her eyes”(line 8) is an irony; an irony is a situation which is desirable but circumstances around it, made it valueless.
The theme of merriment. Every word in the poem showed that the poem speaker was having fun, maybe at a ceremonial gathering or at a local food and palm wine restaurant. The theme of seduction. This could be indirect or direct; the poem speaker made the readers to understand that while “The Serving Girl” was serving her customers or guests, her attractive, alluring, smiling eyes were serving other sweet motives to the hearts of the customers or guests.
The author, Acquah Laluah, whose real name was Gladys Casely-Hayford was a Sierra Leonean, a dancer, teacher, poet, etc. before she died in Ghana in the year 1960.
_________The Serving Girl_______
The calabash wherein she served my food
Was polished and smooth as sandalwood.
Fish, white as the foam of the sea,
Peppered and golden-fried for me.
She brought palm wine that carelessly slips
From the sleeping palm tree’s honeyed lips.
But who can guess, or even surmise
The countless things she served with her eyes?
Copyright ©Acquah Laluah.
Samuel C. Enunwa aka samueldpoetry
(the soaring the Leo in the tempest)