In a world of poetry for CXC written by MarkMcwatt and Hazel Simmons-McDonald there are two poems “ Forgive my guilt’ and ‘ Once upon a time” which illustrates the wrongful acts of innocent minded children. Childhood experiences to me are the hyper and innocent yet so passionate phase in one’s life. Each poem deals with different situations create contrasting moods. The poems also elicit different responses from the reader.
‘Once upon a time” written by Gabriel Okara tells the story of a man in his prime recalling the past when he was innocent and loving and when everyone was welcoming with open arms and warm hearts , but he later realizes that their welcomes aren’t sincere and their hearts are cold and hollow. He then learns and adapts o their society: learning how to mask your true feelings about others and portray dishonesty which saddens him. He then looks to his son in admiration and affection, “show me, son, how to laugh, show me how I use to laugh and smile once upon a time when I was like you.
Which means that he wants to relearn how to be innocent and loving and kind hearted when he was like his son once upon a time ago”. Similarly “Forgive my guilt” written by Robert. P. Tristan Coffin tells the story of a man reminiscing about his past as a boy who believes he has committed a sin. His guilt of the memory of shooting “two birds on golden legs” is a constant painful reminder. Their “sorrow high flutes cries as they swam out of sea with broken wings” made the author realizes to himself that he had committed a wrongful act. He is forever haunted by their “sounds of sorrow that time cannot drown as the birds drifted out to sea”.
The author remorsefully reflects about the end of their lives and hopes that they were able to survive. He then yearns forgiveness. Each poems deal with different situations that creates contrasting moods. They are created by the use of different devices and sad phrases in the poem, ‘Forgive my guilt’ portrays the mood of being ashamed of the author’s heinous actions. The author creates a shameful mood by expressing his sad heartfelt phrases “but I have hoped for years all that is wild, Airy and beautiful will forgive my guilt”. Similarly ‘Once upon a time’ creates the mood of nostalgia.
The writer creates this mood by expressing it through similes and phrases “I want to be what I used to be when I was like you I want to relearn how to laugh, for my laugh in the mirror show only my teeth like snakes bare fangs”. The two poems elicit different responses from the reader. ‘Once upon a time’ elicits a sense of sincerity and the longing to be loved and kind hearted how children are and that society can change you and the people around you for better or for worse. While ‘Forgive my Guilt’ elicits the sense of remorse and the longing for forgiveness and that committing wrongful acts as a child can haunt you into adulthood.