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Tuesday, August 25, 2020

ENGLISH - Poem - I LOVE HAPPY ENDING TOO




I LOVE HAPPY ENDING TOO
Manga J. Kingazi Mmbagha

I like poems with happy endings best
Because I want to be happy and gay
But it’s true that night cannot become day.
And if we alter truth for lies, it is unjust.
It is sad all the same, but I like happy endings best.

I hate poems with tragic endings the more
But is it bad to tell when it is painful
When I can’t stand any more this cruelty
And the heat that is melting my soul
And the shadows that hide the truth,
That fought me and kill me
And the stars that dance in the sky
In daylight, not in night, pretending
It is sad all the same
But where are the happy ending in Life?
Death? Yes death
Are you not tired comrade,
Of the boredom of the light that is never there?

INTRODUCTION

This is an ironical poem that was written by a Tanzanian poet and teacher Manga J. Kingazi Mmbagha who studied Education at the university of Dar-es-Salaam. He tries to express his appreciation for poems with happy endings and his dislike for those with tragic endings. However, the poet surprises the readers when he changes his subject abruptly and ends his poem with a sad ending addressing the subject of death.

THEMES

DEATH/MORTALITY
The main theme of the poem is the subject of death which is the ultimate finality of human life. The poet begins by expressing his interest in poems with happy endings just to create suspense to the readers before he introduces the most intimidating subject of death. He does so perhaps because people do not like discussing this topic, so he postpones it until the last stanza but on the way he drives the readers into it unawares and introduces it abruptly. Look at the following verses and how the subject is introduced;
It is sad all the same
But where are the happy ending in Life?
Death? Yes death
However, it is rather strange to note that the poet who wants poems with happy endings would end his own with a sad ending featuring the subject so intimidating – death.

HONESTY
Human beings are limited in what they can do. Sometimes it is good to admit human limitations and be honest with ourselves. The poet uses the images of night and day to show that as there is no one who can turn night into day then human beings have limitations. One such limitation is the fact that they cannot defeat death and turn it into life just as truth cannot be changed into a lie. 
But it’s true that night cannot become day.
And if we alter truth for lies, it is unjust

DISAPPOINTMENT /THE MEANING OF LIFE
The poet seems to table a discussion about the real meaning of life. If life can be so miserable, so painful an cruel, if life is full of heat enough to melt one’s soul, then what is the meaning of life? If life has no happy ending but a tragic one what is the meaning of life? It is like having light that is actually not there. The rhetorical question he asks at the end of the poem summaries his disappointment about the meaning of life.
Þ    Are you not tired comrade,
Of the boredom of the light that is never there?
viii.      What lessons do we learn from the poem?
Þ    We must know our limitations as human beings.
Þ    It is better to live a worthwhile life that gives meaning to our lives.
Þ    One day we shall all die, so it is better to plan how to die a noble death one that will create a happy ending to those we leave behind.
ix.      Is the poem relevant to our society?
Yes it is. The subject of death is still one of the most intimidating subjects that leave many questions unanswered and many people feel so sad as they lose their beloved ones. Death is still a sad ending in the race of human life.

GUIDING QUESTIONS

i.      What is the poem about?
The poem is about appreciation of poems that have happy endings that make the reader gay (happy) at the end. The poet shows his dislike for sad poems that end tragically but he surprises the reader by changing the subject abruptly and ending the poem with a sad ending about death which is the ultimate finality of life.
ii.      What is the tone of the poem?
The tone is ironical as the poet talks about happy endings but he ends his poem with a sad ending.
iii.      What type of the poem is this?
It is a modern/free-verse poem with irregular rhyming scheme and variation in the length of verses and number of verses in each stanza.
iv.      Who is the persona?
The persona is a person who loves poetry. This is revealed by the way he describes his interest in poems with happy endings that make him happy.
v.      Comment on the language use in the poem.
The language used is very simple, one that poses no any difficulty to the reader. The poet has also employed poetic and literary devices.
Poetic licence
The author has made use of ungrammatical English in some of the verses. Whether he did it deliberately to achieve a poetic effect or whether it reflects his linguistic incompetence it is true that he employed poetic licence in violating the grammatical canons. The following lines express this claim;
Þ    But where are the happy ending in Life? (In this statement the plural verb “are” is not congruent with a singular noun “ending”. It is supposed to be “But where are the happy endings in life?”)
Þ    That fought me and kill me (in this statement again the simple past verb “fought” has no tense agreement with the second verb “kill” because they have the same subject. It is supposed to be “That fought me and killed me”)
Irony
Þ    The title of the poem “I love happy ending too” is ironical.
The poet talks about loving happy ending that would make him gay but he ends his own poem with a sad ending.
Personification
Þ    And the shadows that hide the truth, that fought me and kill me (the shadow cannot hide the truth, fight or kill somebody)
Þ    And the stars that dance in the sky. (the stars cannot dance)
Consonance. Repetition of similar consonant sounds at the end of consecutive words
Þ    But it’s true that night cannot become day.
Þ    In daylight, not in night, pretending
Rhetorical questions
Þ    But where are the happy ending in Life?
Þ    Death? Yes death
Þ    Are you not tired comrade, of the boredom of the light that is never there?
Symbolism
Þ    Poems. In this poem the word “poems” is used to represent life itself. Just as there are poems with tragic ending so is life which ends with the tragedy of death.
Þ    Night cannot become Day; represent the pictures of death and life in a sense that death cannot be changed into life.
vi.      Comment on the rhyming scheme of the poem?
Largely, the poem has irregular rhyming scheme but in order to bring about music the poet has used internal rhymes in verses like;
In daylight, not in night, pretending
Also in the first stanza there are rhyming words that create music.
Þ    The 1st, 4th and 5th lines end with rhyming words “best”, “unjust” and “best” respectively.
Þ    The 2nd and 3rd lines also end with rhyming words “day” and “gay
vii.      Suggest the main theme (s) in the poem.


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