In the poem "A Song of Hope" by Oodgeroo Noonuccal, what are the poetic devices or techniques used and what effect do they have on the reader (on their perspective/opinion, etc.)?

1 Answer | Add Yours

durbanville's profile pic

durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

In "A Song of Hope" by Oodgeroo Noonuccal, the poet makes use of various poetic devices in order to stress the themes of racism and freedom, and the ending of this injustice against a "darker race." The feelings of hopefulness are evident from the rhyme which gives the poem a fast pace revealing the narrator's anxiousness and anticipation. The reader is left in no doubt that no more time can be wasted because of how "long we waited."  

Parallelism (when a certain structure or pattern is used stressing certain words or repeating them) is also used extensively to support the rhyme and contribute to the rhythm. The grammatical structure and the meter evident from the use of parallelism bring the poem towards a climax and the reader is caught up in the frenzy. One such example is:

When none defame us,

No restriction tame us,

Nor color shame us,...

The reader has an optimistic outlook and even become personally invested in "the glad tomorrow." The future belongs to the people and the use of personification (suggesting that tomorrow can be glad) confirms their rightful place in it.

There is assonance, such as ("the juster justice") and alliteration ("plan the promise") and these ensure that "all doors open." The repetition, particularly of "fathers' fathers" and "children's children" completes the circle and ensures that the sacrifice is recognized and appreciated. Unlike many poems about the struggle for freedom which outline the intensity of that struggle, this poem focuses on a new "Dream Time." 

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,913 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question