Can someone help me out interpreting/summerizing this stanza from Angelou's poem?
When we come to it
We, this people, on this minuscule and kithless globe
Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade and the dagger
Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace
We, this people on this mote of matter
In whose mouths abide cankerous words
Which challenge our very existence
Yet out of those same mouths
Come songs of such exquisite sweetness
That the heart falters in its labor
And the body is quieted into awe
Are there any literary devices? Thanks
The excerpt in question comes from Angelou's poem "A Brave and Startling Truth". The poem, as a whole, discusses the world as a chaotic and startling place where we, as people, must learn to deal with all we face.
The exerpt in question depicts the world as a harsh place to live in. The only things the world offers its inhabitants is bombs, blades, and daggers. This being said, Angelou points out that even with all of the negative things which influence and oppress mankind, people are still able to sing beautiful songs and be in awe of the fact that beauty can come out of such a dark and depressing place.
The expert uses a few different poetic devices.
1. Metaphor- The comparison between two things not using "like" or "as" in the comparison.
The earth is compared to a "mote of matter" (this is also a kenning--a metaphorical phrase originating in Anglo-Saxon literature used to heighten the language and imagery).
2. Personification- The giving of human qualities or characterisitcs to non-human/non-living things.
"Words which challenge" is an example of personification given that words cannot challenge; only people can challenge.