Discuss the theme of cultural Conflict in Piano and Drums.
The poem, Piano and drums critically examine modern civilization in conflict with ancient civilization or put differently Western European culture versus traditional African culture. In this poem, symbols of cultural heritage are employed. Piano symbolizes Western cultural heritage while drums signify African values The speaker sits by the riverside at the break of day, engrossed in the “mystic, rhythm of jungle drums, speaking of primal youth’: The telegraph message of the drums prepare the hunters to strike at the Snarling Panthers”
A quick flashback reminds the poet/speaker of his childhood days as a suckling child on the mother laps. The speaker sees himself walking along the simple rugged paths “fashioned with the naked warmth of hurrying feet”. Life was simple and undiluted. Suddenly, the “wailing piano” comes, “speaking of complex ways. In tear furrowed concerto of faraway lands”. In fact, the speaker is caught off balance because his simple past has now been overshadowed by the over-whelming complexity of the foreign sound, as opposed to his jungle drums.
“But lost in the labyrinth of its complexities it ends in the middle of a phase at a dagger point”.
The speaker’s way of life has suddenly been affected by an invading and intruding culture hence the speaker is caught in a maze of wandering,… “And I, lost in the morning mist of an age at riverside, keep wandering in the mystic rhythm of jungle drums and the Western-styled concerto”