Please write a 5-page essay on one of the following topics:

Topic 1: Talk about the use of repetition in “Water” by Koleka Putuma and what it helps you understand about the poem.

Topic 2: Talk about the ambiguous endings of “What’s in my Journal” by William Stafford and/or “Who but the Lord?” by Langston Hughes. What does the ambiguity of the ending do for the poems messages?

Your goal should be to write a coherent piece of exposition that illuminates the text and the poem in which it is found. A successful paper will advance an argument and will engage closely with specific language in the poem (pay attention to style, suggestion and implication).

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In her poem ’’Water’’, Koleka Putuma contemplates the ocean and its importance to the black people of South Africa. The sea, or the water, has got a symbolic meaning for the black people. They use it for spiritual ceremonies, and they are also mythologically related to it.

But, this water is also a symbol of misunderstanding between the white and the black people. Putuma says that she, ’’...often hear(s) this joke, / About Black people not being able to swim’’(11-12). However, she looks at the ocean as the route of her people's inhumane and unjust departure overseas into slavery. She points out an exceptionally profound significance of the water for the black people confronting it with the prejudice and scorn rooted in many white people about the black.

Koleka Putuma deals with the questions of inequality, injustice, scorn, and mockery. She uses powerful tools to emphasize her attitude or her feelings, such as the repetition of phrases or verses. The repetition has got a substantial effect on the reader: it draws his attention to the particular piece of information. It makes him stop reading and start thinking about the matter. In this way, the poet makes sure that the message is transferred.

At the beginning of the poem, the poet recalls going to the beach...

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