ICSE/ISCE IX - X Poem IX-X Poets with initials A to E

Analysis of I Believe by Brucellish K Sangma

I Believe is a poem by a Garo poet, Brucellish K Sangma. It is a translation from the original Garo poem, Anga Bebera’a into English by the same poet. She is one of the eminent poets among the Garo women poets. She often translates her own poems from one language to another.

Capabilities of Human Beings:
The poem I Believe depicts the theme of the uncountable capabilities of man and his dreams and achievements. The poet believes a human being can rise to great heights, endure a number of hurdles and reach their goal. In the first stanza, the poet says that a human being can throw a pebble upwards, pierce through the heaven and watch the angels play. This actually means that humans can achieve the most difficult and sometimes even the unachievable goals. At a spiritual level, it means raising our conscience to a higher point and becoming one with God.
In fact, the poet wants to say that human beings can conquer all parts of the universe if they believe in themselves, use their capabilities and work diligently. She means to say that humans can conquer all the three realms of the earth- the atmosphere, the lithosphere and the hydrosphere. The poet also believes that humans can make this world heaven-like and themselves like angels.
Feminist Reading:
The poem I Believe has been written by one of the eminent Garo poets and activists, Brucellish K Sangma. The poem voices the concern about dreams and aspirations of a woman in a male-dominated society. A number of restrictions are imposed on women in a patriarchal society. Such a society is male-centred and they subordinate women in all domains in their life: familial, religious, political and economical. The woman of today wants to free herself from such a society and achieve her dreams. She wants to reach the sky, dive into deep oceans, and conquer all the three realms of the earth. The poet believes today’s women like the poet can achieve her goals.

Simplicity rules the poems of Brucellish K Sangma. It is a translation from the original Garo poem, Anga Bebera’a into English by the same poet. The poem consists of six stanzas and the poet has taken ample care to use appropriate English words to convey her theme and message. The poem is composed in free verse i.e. it has no rhyme scheme and no regular pattern of rhythm. It should be noted that each stanza is a single sentence.

Anaphora is a figure of speech in which there is deliberate repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of verses, paragraphs, clauses or sentences. Anaphora is frequently used in Bible and in poetry strongly influenced by Bible. In this poem I Believe, ‘I believe’ has been used repeatedly in the beginning of each stanza (except stanza 6) to convey the feelings, dreams and aspirations of the poet.

A Haiku is a traditional poetic form , which originated in Japan. It is three-line poem with a total of 17 syllables. This poem I Believe consists of six stanzas, each comprising of three lines. The different stanzas are put together through the central theme which runs throughout the poem. It is for this reason that the poem resembles the Japanese Haiku.

I Believe has used the technique of Cumulative Listing. It is technique which involves a kind of accumulation of broadly similar ideas. The device is used to emphasize the main idea of a poem.
Each stanza begins with the phrase ‘I believe’ and enlists a number of things that the speaker is capable of doing. Thus, the ideas, if put together can be seen forming a list or catalogue.

Symbolism refers to the use of symbols to represent ideas and qualities. The entire poem, I Believe, though written in simple and lucid words, has symbolic meaning.
Some of the symbolism are listed below:
“I believe I can soar heights
Touch the silky clouds
And feel the stars” (Stanza 2): Here, heights symbolize ‘sky’ meaning space without limit. ‘stars’ symbolize the list of achievers.

“I believe I can dive
Right into the depths
And swim with the sharks” (Stanza 3): Here, ‘depths’ symbolize the ‘ocean of life’ and ‘sharks’ symbolize the hurdles and difficulties faced in life. The poet believes she can cross all hurdles that come on her way and achieve success.

“I believe I can claw into the earth’s belly
Pick up the priceless gems
And adorn myself with them” (Stanza 4): ‘claw into the earth’s belly’ symbolize putting in labour and hard work to achieve something. ‘Priceless gems’ symbolize the resources available on earth- metals, minerals and precious stones. ‘Adorn’ means to enrich oneself with this resources.

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