The Subject Matter
Kofi Awoonor’s “The Anvil and the Hammer examines the issues of creativity in life. The poet person uses the blacksmith as an anchor on all creative persons. The poem itself dwells essentially on the method of forming new ideas that will last. The poet draws inspiration from the past. Here, he reincarnates the old African life where unity and brotherly love are the major philosophies which bind Africans together just as the blacksmith forges metal into new products and shapes. He invites us to find joy in doing new things which will last. The persona resorts to nature and tradition for new creation and new ideas. The last of the poem illustrates the harmony to be derived when our ways are good.
1. The clash of cultures
The poet applies the notion of forceful coming together of the people of two culturesto the disadvantages of one in a colonial relationship. The African people are said to be ‘caught between the anvil and the hammer’. The traditional culture is ‘the anvil’. It is the indigenous. Africans sit on it while ‘the hammer’ is the foreign which violently strives to strike in order to mould a new person out of black African.
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