Elements of the PoemSetting
Place : A village where a flood has recently occured
Time : The present
- The persona is probably a visitor or a person who has lived with the villagers
- Poverty and hardship
- Resilience and perseverance
- Hardship and suffering build character.
- Positive thinking is important when faced with life's challenges.
- We must carry on and persevere despite hardship.
- Be thankful for the comforts you have
- Emphatize with the poor and do all you can to help them
- Impressed by how villagers accept hardship
- 3 stanzas
- Free verse
- Literally devices: contrast,diction,imagery.
The Poet: Latiff Mohidin
- Born in 1941
- A celebrated artist and poet
- Studied art in Germany,France and america
- Received Malaysia's National Literaly Prize and Southeast Asian's Writer's Award in 1984
Overview of 'In the Midst of Hardship'
- This poem paints a realistic picture of life in a Malaysian/Indonesian/rural setting.
- The villagers live in hardship and poverty,made more difficult by natural disasters like floods and storms.However,they accept their fate and make the best of their situation.
Meaning of Verses
The occupants of the house have just returned home at daybreak.Their wet clothes are torn and their arms and legs are covered with scratches and wounds.They walk to the stove in the kitchen.Though it has been a rough day,they do not appear unhappy.
The people of the house had been out in the floodwaters for the past 24 hours.They were looking son's albino buffalo,which they never found.As they waded in the foodwaters,they saw signs of destruction,such as dead animals and parts of trees.
The persona observes that though these people were born into hardship,they never complained nor were they letting it get them down.Instead they took the situation in their sride and even had time to sit around the kitchen making jokes and enjoying a smoke.