Analysis of "Road Accidents." A poem by Charles Mloka

Analysis of "Road Accidents." A poem by Charles Mloka

Road Accidents is one of the poems in The Wonderful Surgeon and Other Poems for the 'Advanced Level English language Paper Two'. Read Poetic TerminologiesHow to Read a Poem and How to Analyse a Poem before reading and analysing the poem below: 

Road Accidents
By Charles Mloka
When I think of my father, my tears roll.
I lost an opportunity to join high school.
To enjoy the fruits of education.
Today, a beggar I’m, stationed on this point of the street.
Where the son of a woman was all gone.
Waiting to see him once more.
But in vain!

Today, people wait, children cry, and women mourn.
Everyday, morning and afternoon.
All soothing hymns, are sung at mortuaries.
Only to receive, the bodies of sons and daughters.
To ferry to their final resting places.
Oh! Road accidents!

Where is my father?
Should we blame corruption or vice?
Police of or governments?
Should we blame passengers or drivers?
Vehicles or the owners?
Should we blame engineers or contractors?
Roads or rains?
Oh! My father is long gone!
Oh! Road accidents!

Court rooms are full of traffic cases,
with insurance brokers, preparing documents.
Advocates have queued, to defend their clients.
Prosecutors are ready to read the charges.
Magistrates are prepared to adjudicate.
But where is my father?
Oh! Road accidents!

Can we compare you with malaria?
Academicians, farmers, businessmen and posterity
all perish!
Who’ll help us?
Where is my father?
Oh! Road accidents!

Charles Mloka was born in Arusha, Tanzania. He attended primary and secondary education between 1965 and 1975. He studied Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and Master of Laws (LLM) from the University of Dar es Salaam. He worked as clerk Assistant in the Parliament of Tanzania from 1998-2006. Currently, he is the Assistant Director in the Hansard Department of the Parliament of Tanzania.
The title of the poem is direct and it reflects the contents of the poem.
The poem is about road accidents. It tells about a child who lost his father in road accidents. He complains how the accident has left him a beggar in the street.
The persona of the poem is sad and angry because he has lost his father because of reckless Road accidents.
The addressee is the society which experiences number of road accidents most of which are a result of reckless drivers and bad roads.
[6] TONE
The tone of the poet towards the audience and subject matter is sad and angry.
[7] MOOD 
The mood of the poem towards the audience is sad and angry.
The poem is divided into five stanzas with each stanza having its own number of lines.
The type of the poem is modern lyric poem because it is short and it expresses strong feelings of the poet.
The poet has applied several sound devices to make the poem sound musical and rhythmical. Some of the sound devices used are by the poet are:
(1) Refrain. The repetition of the same word, phrase, or sentence at the end of almost every stanza. The poet has used the refrain ‘Oh! Road accident!’ in all stanzas except the first one. The use of stanza helps to create musicality in the poem and it also emphasize the point.
(2) Repetition. The repetition has also been utilized. In the poem, there is a repetition of several words including ‘Road accident’ for the purpose of making an emphasis on the point concerned.
The poet has employed simple language and understandable with vocabulary items related to the road accidents and the court processes on traffic cases.
[12] THEMES 
The issues of the poem are varied. They range from the causes of road accidents to the effects. Here are some of the issues raised by the poet:
(1) Death. “Oh! Road accidents” in the 2nd,3rd, 4th and 5th stanza.
(2) Life hardship. Becoming a beggar. “Today, a beggar I’m, stationed on this point of the street” in the first stanza.
(3) Orphanage. In the first stanza and the second stanza.
(4) Corruption. “Should we blame corruption or vice?” in the third stanza.
(5) Loss of manpower. “Academicians, farmers, businessmen and posterity/all perish!” in the last stanza.
(6) Poverty. In the first stanza.
(7) Lack of education. In the first stanza.
(8) Irresponsibility. In the third stanza.
The message of the poem is that the road accidents have far reaching effects on people’s lives. The accidents are accompanied with the loss of lives, becoming lame, and decrease of manpower for the country.
There are various lessons or teachings we can take from the poem. Some are; we should all be careful with the use of our roads be road contractor, driver, motorcyclist, bicyclist, or pedestrian. We should observe all road traffic signs.
The poem is relevant to our modern contemporary societies. Every day, we experience, see, and watch road accidents everywhere in our country. The road accidents have been claiming the lives of the people every day. In some areas, there are even hospitals that have special ward for injured people.

Other analysed poems from this selection are:
Mloka, C (2007) The Wonderful Surgeon and Other Poems, Mkuki na Nyota, Dar es Salaam.

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Emmanuel Kachele

Emmanuel Kachele is a founder and Blogger of KACHELE ONLINE Blog, an educational blog where 'O' Level English - 'OLE', 'A' Level English (ALE) and other related teaching and life skills are shared extensively. This is an online center for all Tanzanian Secondary School English Language students and teachers (Forms I-VI) and all interested English Language learners and teachers worldwide.

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