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Saturday, 12 September 2020

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Anthology Title: Summons

Anthology Editor: Richard S. Mabala

Poem Title: Lost Beauty

Poet: Jwani Mwaikusa

Setting: Universal

Year of Publication (Anthology): 1980

Publisher: Tanzania Publishing House Ltd


SUMMARY OF THE POEM

Lost beauty is a critical poem that clearly depicts the effects both colonialism and neo-colonialism on Africans and African culture in general. The poem shows how Africans betray their true identity and keep on searching another identity. Most women and men these days are trying to imitate almost everything from Western countries especially women who try their level best to change their natural colour through cosmetics which some of them are harmful.


Lost Beauty

By Jwani Mwaikusa


There are only white women around;

Awful fakes of white females

Reflecting an awful mass of ugliness:

And I want a lady

To mount the rostrum with

And declare to the world:

‘Black is beautiful’


Yes, I want a black beauty queen

With ebony thighs and huge hips

With skin sweating blackness

And a face dark as the night

And bare breasts bouncing

Vigor and energy.


But my eyes, on my eyes!

They don’t see anything black:

It’s only white skins and masks

Flashing past and slashing,

Destroying my sight so

I can’t get what I want


I cry and sing to them

The inbred tune of our people

I shout to them in the black tongue

But no black sister hears me;

Only white masks I see.


I turn and weep upon myself

And then, only then I realize:

I am not black either.


ANALYSIS OF THE POEM

Persona

The persona is an African man who is aware of how European culture has dismantled African culture. The persona in the poem is an African individual who protests against African women who use cosmetics, wear wigs, and act like white women while they look bad in that appearance. That is why; the persona suggests to them that he will be proud of them if they keep their African natural identity of African values and color.

Addressee

The addressee in the poem is any African men or women who despise their natural identity, beauty and color and turn themselves into imitating culture that is not theirs.

Tone

The tone is lamenting, satirical and sarcastic. The persona cries for the change that has taken place, but later he realises that even himself is affected by this change. 

Mood

 The persona’s cries for change makes his mood sad and unhappy.

Structure of the poem

The poem has been divided into five stanzas. Each stanza carries its own number of lines and it has its own main idea as well.

Kind of the poem

The poem is lyrical modern poem. It is short and the poet expresses strong feelings. 

Sound devices

The poem has rhythm but its rhyming scheme is also irregular. However, the poet has applied the following sound devices:

Repetition. For example, “My eyes oh, my eyes!”

Alliteration. For example, 

Black beauty queen

And bare breast

b ouncing….”


➡️ Download Full 'Lost Beauty' Notes Here!

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CHAPTER FIVE: ANALYSIS OF PLAYS

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