The form of the poem is irregular. The lines do not all start in one place but they all start at different places and they are of different lengths. This creates a slightly worried feel to the poem and this reflects the poet’s feelings about her identity. The poem by Lawrence Ferlinghetti is comparing the lifestyle of the rich people and the life style of the poor people in San Francisco. In this poem the poet notices the difference in appearance of two people in a yellow garbage truck and an elegant couple in a Mercedes.
The poet describes the appearance of the two scavengers in the garbage truck and compares them with the people in the Mercedes. It looks like as if the poet is trying to say that the people in the Mercedes live an easy carefree life while the two scavengers have to work very hard from four a. m in the morning to make money. The poet says that the young man in the Mercedes with the sunglasses and long blond hair is the same age as one of the scavengers so it seems unfair that one of them lives a life of comfort while the other has to collect rubbish to make ends meet.
It seems that no matter what the scavengers’ do they are never going to have an easy life “…… as if they were watching some odourless tv ad in which everything is always possible”. This seems to say that the people in the Mercedes have everything while the two people on the garbage truck can only dream about the things that those two in the Mercedes have. The poet also says at the end of the poem that anything is possible. This means that someday the guys in the garbage truck could also drive around in a Mercedes. It also looks like the people in the Mercedes are educated business people who have well paid jobs.
But on the other hand the guys in the garbage truck don’t seem to be very educated and it does not look like as if their jobs pay them well either. Of the three poems I read I think the poem by Moniza Alvi has the strongest contrast. This is because through out the entire poem the writer describes in detail about how radiant the clothes and jewellery from Pakistan look in comparison to the dull denim and the corduroy worn by the English people and the cardigans found in Marks and Spencers. The poet describes how the salwar kameez from Pakistan glistens like an orange peal and embossed slippers which were gold and black in colour.
And the sari was apple green with silver boarder. This shows that all the clothes from Pakistan were brightly coloured and looked nothing like the clothes worn by the English. The poet also gives a description of how the women in Lahore were treated. It seems from the poets’ account the women in Lahore were kept in shaded rooms and prevented from talking to any male visitors. This also shows a great contrast. The women in England are free to talk to anyone they want and they can go anywhere they want but it seems like this is restricted in Lahore.