The poem centers on the clash of cultures, basically Western culture and traditional culture. Two musical symbols — Piano and Drums, represent these cultures, The African drums, the pride of African heritage communicate echoes of our distant past but the piano is alien to the African way of life. The setting is the riverside and it is morning — break of day which may equally connote the beginning of life, the unpolluted period of African existence before the intermingling with the West. The message is succinctly portrayed in the following lines of stanza one:
When at break of day at a riverside
I hear jungle drums telegraphing…”
The urgent message of the mystic rhythm seeds panic not only to the humans but animals too seem to be agitated, “I see the panther ready to pounce the leopard, about to leap’ The natural state of Africa has been affected because the image of a suckling child depicts innocence before modern civilization Indeed the speaker is carried away by the rhythm of the drum before the turn of events The inexplicable tune of the piano makes him Peel lost in Confusion for its complexity Which he cannot easily reconcile with the rhythm of the mystic drums.