Lion heart by Amanda Chong

In Literature class, as regards the IGCSE’s syllabus, we continued on reading, analysing and learning the poem Lion Heart by Amanda Chong from “Songs of Ourselves”. According to a post on the professor’s blog, in groups, we had to analyse the poem following two videos and a presentation of its analysis and later create a poster including certain information. I worked with Abril Terán Frías & Trinidad Porretti. This are the sources of information:

Lionheart

You came out of the sea,
skin dappled scales of sunlight;
Riding crests, waves of fish in your fists.
Washed up, your gills snapped shut.
Water whipped the first breath of your lungs,
Your lips’ bud teased by morning mists.

You conquered the shore, its ivory coast.
Your legs still rocked with the memory of waves.
Sinews of sand ran across your back-
Rising runes of your oceanic origins.
Your heart thumped- an animal skin drum
heralding the coming of a prince.

In the jungle, amid rasping branches,
trees loosened their shadows to shroud you.
The prince beheld you then, a golden sheen.
Your eyes, two flickers; emerald blaze
You settled back on fluent haunches;
The squall of a beast. your roar, your call.

In crackling boats, seeds arrived, wind-blown,
You summoned their colours to the palm
of your hand, folded them snugly into loam,
watched saplings swaddled in green,
as they sunk roots, spawned shade,
and embraced the land that embraced them.

Centuries, by the sea’s pulmonary,
a vein throbbing humming bumboats –
your trees rise as skyscrapers.
Their ankles lost in swilling water,
as they heave themselves higher
above the mirrored surface.

Remember your self: your raw lion heart,
Each beat a stony echo that washes
through ribbed vaults of buildings.

Remember your keris, iron lightning
ripping through tentacles of waves,
double-edged, curved to a point-

flung high and caught unsheathed, scattering
five stars in the red tapestry of your sky.

This is our poster:

In our opinion, this is a great poem that shows the huge importance of one’s nation. It accurately portrays what patriotism is like. The recurrent use of imagery allowed us to vividly picture the situations given throughout the poem. However, at times the use of complex vocabulary can be confusing. It’s a good example to show that your roots and origin will stay with you forever and will never abandon you, as they are big part of your identity. Moreover, it conveys the idea that there are many more significant aspects of a country than just the land. The people, culture, customs, achievements and the development of a country characterize it in a unique way that make it different from other countries.

By: Abril Terán Frías, Trinidad Porretti & Anouk de Laferrere

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