Comparing The Poems Johannesburg And City Johannesburg

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We are given two poems “Johannesburg” and “City Johannesburg”, at first glance, one wonders if there is really any difference between the poems. After all, both have the word “Johannesburg” in the title. On closer inspection, we find that there is indeed quite a few differences but also similarities as well. The poets have made use of imagery effectively throughout the poem, one crucial image that arises from both poems is that of racism. There is other imagery used further emphasising the issues that arose during the Apartheid Era. William Plomer’s poem “Johannesburg” is of the lives of men who worked and ‘lived’ in Johannesburg during the gold rush in “eighty-five”. It is from the rich man’s perspective. They have all the “fortunes” which was “founded overnight”, thus leading to urbanisation and so “mansions rose among the rocks.” This urbanisation lead to the men which were migrant workers having “girls” while working. These men cheated on their wives and these women were referred to as “girls” and so were around in the cities and mingled and had sexual relations with these men. Money was so abundant to these men that “champagne baths” that “sluiced their skins”. Showing…show more content…
Once he gets onto the bus to go to “Johannesburg” he leaves behind all he loves, all that is dear to him, that defines him, his place of birth, and ultimately the place where he will be laid rest. “Johannesburg” will be the reason for his “death”, he knows it well so well that it is as if it was something he came into contact with daily, just like we the “wink to the eye”. The “bus” leaves behind “whirling dust” this is unsettling just like the poets life, it is back and forth daily. Whilst traveling to “Johannesburg” on the “black and white” which emphasises the racisms that took place in that era then “roboted roads” brings alliteration of the ‘r’ sound further emphasising the point of

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