Malaysia form 4 syllabus – Poems
In the midst of Hardship.
Setting : Where / when
A flooded village at dawn.
A couple spent the whole day and night wading through the flood in search of their son’s albino buffalo.
At dawn they returned home
their soaky clothes torn
and approached the stove
their limbs marked by scratches
their legs full of wounds
but on their brows
there was not a sign of despair
2.)Atmosphere / mood
1st & 2nd stanza
Gloomy, potraying the hardship and ordeal
faced by the villagers due to the flood.
Change of mood, more cheerful and
lighthearted as they make jokes to relieve
the stress and anguish of the past night.
3.)THEMES–Facing adversity / misfortune
It is how man faces adversity that is important. The family does not have much and even loses something precious but they do not let it get them down because they have one another.
–The power of nature
Nature is all powerful and when she unleashes her power she can sweep away everything. Man has to learn to be humble and at peace with nature just like the couple in the poem.
The poet paints a vivid imagery of a flood scene at night with floating tree barks and soaky clothes. The sense of smell is created through the smell of rotting bodies as in ‘bloated carcasses’. The sense of touch is evoked through getting their limbs ‘scratched’ and legs covered with ‘wounds’.
In stanza 1, to whom does the word they specifically refer to?
Briefly describe how the people are suffering while out in the rain.
Why do the people approach the stove?
What does the line, ‘there was not a sign of despair’ tell you about the people?
Why was the couple out in the rain?
Which word tells you that the flood was dangerous and causing a lot of hardship?
What do you think probably happened to the albino buffalo?
If you were the parent of the boy in the poem, would you go out in the floods to look for your son’s albino buffalo? Give two reasons to support your answer.