What are the literary devices found in the poem "Africa" by Diop?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Perhaps the most important literary device found in Diop's poem "Africa" is personification. Addressing Africa, the speaker says, "your blood flows in my veins." The speaker also refers to the "back" of Africa, which "never breaks" and which "trembl(es) with red scars." By personifying Africa, the speaker gives the impression that Africa is a living entity with a will of its own. The personification of Africa also makes it easier for the reader to empathize with the suffering that Africa has endured. We all know the pain that precedes a scar, and thus, we can all empathize with the pain that has led to Africa's "red scars."

There is also repetition in the poem. For example, the word "blood" is used three times in three consecutive lines. The repetition of "blood" emphasizes that pain and suffering that Africa, as a continent, has been through. There is, throughout the first half of the poem, a recurring motif of pain and suffering, connoted by words such as "blood," "scars," "sweat," and "trembling."

In the final part of the poem, the speaker conveys his hope that Africa will rise from "under the weight of humiliation" to become once more strong and independent. The speaker uses the metaphor of a tree to convey this hope. He hopes that Africa, like the tree, will "spring... up anew" and bear "fruit" which will "taste of liberty."

The poem is also written in free verse, meaning that there is no rhyme scheme or regular syllabic meter. This lends to the poem the feel of a spontaneous monologue, and it is perhaps all the more heartfelt and sincere because it is spontaneous rather than overly controlled and crafted.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial