Which words in "Love Poem for My Country" show that the poet is optimistic?

A few words in "Love Poem for My Country" which show that the poet is optimistic include proud, adorn, peace, caress, elegant, glitter, pride, jewels, praise, unity, and celebrate.

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In this poem, the speaker celebrates the unique diversity of his country by describing the positive attributes of its physical riches.

The title itself points to a positive tone, indicating that this is a "love poem." What follows is a tribute to South Africa, full of splendor and beauty.

The first stanza honors the country's valleys. The "proud" eyes of birds admire the rivers flowing through those valleys and "adorn" the sky; the imagery here is ornate, as nature decorates both the land and the heavens.

The second stanza pays tribute to the grasslands, or veld. Those lands represent "peace," and reptiles "caress" the surfaces of those spaces. We often don't associate reptiles with such a gentle touch; this furthers the speaker's position that this is a magical space, capable of transforming ominous beasts into more gentle creatures. These reptiles move in an "elegant" manner and "glitter" in their "pride."

The third stanza examines the mountainous landscape, filled with baboons that "hop" among the boulders, which stand tall in a "majestic delight."

The fourth stanza identifies the beauty in the sea and compares fish to "jewels," recognizing both their beauty and value. The "golden voice" of the miner singing a "praise / for my country" can be heard even deep into the earth.

In the final stanza, the speaker asserts that South Africa stands for "unity" and urges his audience to see and feel the passions of its people who stand with joined hands and a collective sense of hope.

The poem ends with a single line visually separated from the rest of the poem:

we shall celebrate.

This is a visual and mental focal point of the poem, ending in one final exaltation of optimism and hope. The speaker celebrates a love of South Africa and uses language that speaks to a hopeful future, worthy of continued celebrations.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on

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