Presence Michael Mboya Analysis

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“Presence”, a poem by T. Michael Mboya, is a succinct dedication to a lover, nevertheless with a poignant atmosphere. The poem speaks of a lover’s presence which is now missed by the speaker, comparing different times – those passed and the present – to address the speaker’s nostalgic feelings. The speech of the poem is direct, employing a single metaphor – the only poetic device present. Mboya employs short lines in two short stanzas to reach a climatic end. The poem is strengthened by the eloquent use of diction.
The first stanza is affective in communicating the idea of love, affection, and remembrance for one’s lover. The speaker describes a memory of the how one was during the time one speaks of, and what one did to cling to the “presence” (line 12) of one’s lover.
The poet stylistic in using short lines and abrupt breaks in line allows for the poem to flow, enabling the mine to stop and take in the words. The opening line is a perfect example of this notion. The use of the standalone word “Back” (line 1) draws the audience’s attention to the idea of something that has previously happened. This is a grand opening as it alludes to the idea of something that has passed,
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This does not suggest that he stopped caring about those items he once valued so much, rather that he has not needed to use them as he had grown accustomed to his wife and gotten something else to remind himself of her. The lines “I discover / my nose hair / has trapped / your scent” (lines 23-26) bring attention to the speaker’s discovery of something else to remind himself of his lover’s presence. As he did in the first stanza, the speaker clings to anything that brings his lover’s presence to his life (lines
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