"Before the sun" by Charles Mungoshi

Essay by 7aftya October 2007

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This is a simple poem written by the African poetCharles Mungoshi, in which a boy talks about his every day life activity. The boy like all others desperately wants to convince others or even himself that he’s a grown up, and so seek to copy the activities that old people do. He wakes up every day before the rising of the sun. The boy explains the nature around him, and how his life is simple or even sometimes tiring (he wakes up very early to work hard, like grownups do).

In the first stanza the poet gives us concept of time, which shows us that it’s dun, a beginning of a new day. ‘Promising early heat and later in the afternoon heavy rain’, this phrase shows how heat changes into rain. This explains how things change, nothing stays the same, it also explains how one thing leads to another.

The early heat leads to evaporation of water, which condenses to form rain. The warm ‘blue morning’, will eventually change to heat and later to heavy rain. The poet uses the word ‘promises’ before early heating, it’s like you can’t avoid the heat, it will eventually come.

The second stanza shows the concept of color, ‘bright chips’ he says. He explains the strength of the ‘sharp axe’, which drives the chips to fly ‘ for some distance through the air’. The poet draws our attention by writing a one word line ‘arc’. This line on my opinion is to assure the strength of the axe. We can tell that the child loves his every day activity by the way he nicely explains the nature around him. Like the chips that disintegrate when he cuts the wood, it ‘settles down in showers on the dewy grass’. The poet amazingly draws...