Thursday, November 10, 2011

"This is the dark time, my love" by Martin Carter (Analysis)

This well put together poem by Martin Carter speaks to a society that is ridden with war. The story is set in what is said to be a British ruled Guyana (British Guiana) where the people where oppressed by the military troops.
The poem starts off with the writer of the poem repeating the line “…This is the dark time, my love.” this shows to the reader that this is a very compelling line in the poem. The line stats that the days are dark, the sun has being cover by a mammoth of smog, dirt and coal that has flooded the air due to the physical and social pollution that the British has caused upon the nation. The line then says “…my love..” which explains to the reader that the poem could be referring to either someone he cares for emotionally or his country. Continuing with the 1st stanza the second lines uses metaphoric “brown beetles” to refer to the military oppression. Brown Beetles represents the Military Jeeps, Tanks and other equipment the army uses. “ …The shining sun is hidden in the sky…” the 3rd line in the poem relates to the sun, which subtly represents hope, is hidden by what the poet try’s to portrait is the cold and cruel actions of the military troops. The Stanza then finishes with the poet with a brilliantly placed metaphor “...Red flowers bend their head..” red flowers are symbolic of the people and the red is symbolic of the blood shed.
The second stanza is a clever antithesis full of oxymorons. The poet starts the stanza again with the repetition of the title, “…This is a dark time, my love..” , this of course is not an oxymoron but gives rhythmic appeal or enforces the fact that the poet might be speaking to a specific person or persons. The second stanza utilizes two ingenious oxymoronic phrase to shows the state of the nation, those being “…festival of guns..” and “..the carnival of misery..” . These two phrases compare something that is joyful and of merriment and combine them with something of grief and mourn. The fact that the poet uses the words festival and carnival can also relate to the size of the military forces.
The third stanza starts off with a question, “….Who comes walking in the dark night time?...”, which symbolizes the troops who creep in the dark of night and “…whose boots of steel..” , stamps down on the “…slender grass..” which represents the people. These two verses speak to the people of the nation who are being tortured, abused and trampled by the British forces. The poet then writes a verse “…It is the man of death, my love, the strange invader…” “…Watching you sleep and aiming at your dream..”, though these are two verses are separated by being placed in two different lines the lack of comma between invader and watching shows that they are to be read as a “run on” which add effect to the poem. The verses utilize two phrases “ of death..” and “…strange invader..” to embody the British soldiers which try to destroy there “dreams” of independence and freedom from the British Empire.
“This is a dark time, my love” is a brilliant poem that relates to a nation that is ridden with war and its people who are oppressed and seek liberation form there opposing force of the British. Martin Carter sums up their misery with short, complex and metaphorically abundant verses that speak to the people in a deep and thoughtful way.
Analysis by: Omar Hall
NOTE: This analysis was done for a CSEC literature homework.



  1. Lmao. Thank you very much Omar. (Y) :p

  2. This saved me from tight ass stuck up teacher sigh... thanks much for sharing :)

  3. okay am gonna steal this right now thanks budzz