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Poetry Analysis: Sacrifice and struggles in Sade's 'Pearls'

Updated on September 9, 2018
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Author Erwin Cabucos has Masters in English Education from the University of New England.

Pearls by Sade

Sade’s poem ‘Pearls’ dramatizes the essence of sacrifice in times when one needs to overcome struggles which people come across in their life.

The poem uses the technique of narrative to tell the story of a woman trying to survive by collecting some pearls under the searing of the sun for her little girl. The imagery of the ‘sun’ that ‘gives no mercy’ exacerbates the feeling of pain that she endures as she fulfills her duty. The story does give substance to the drama of the poem.

The technique of simile by comparing the sacrifice and the struggles of the woman that ‘hurts like brand new shoes’ suggests pain likened to the experience of wearing brand new shoes which may result in having corms and cuts on the foot’s skin, implying blood. This comparison adds to the melodramatic tone of the poem where the author lets the audience feel sympathetic towards the woman – the subject of the poem.

The use of the term ‘Hallelujah’ which is usually being used as church hymn alludes to the spirituality or sanctity of the action, implying that the woman’s act to collect pearls for her little girl and the survival that the pearls may bring to them is an act of holiness, a calling as it were, in the Christian perspective. 'She cries to the heavens above' suggests a connection with a deeper sense of spirituality that may offer a message for the reader. It proposes that sacrifice for passion and love may mean a sacred thing – an ultimate act of goodness.

Sad’s poem Pearl’s explores the emotion involves in an act of sacrifice for the sake of love and passion, evoking a message that it is an act towards the calling for sacredness and goodness.

Simple formula when writing poetry analysis

Lyrics of Sade's 'Pearls'

There is a woman in Somalia
Scraping for pearls on the roadside
There's a force stronger than nature
Keeps her will alive
That's how she's dying
She's dying to survive
Don't know what she's made of
I would like to be that brave
She cries to the heaven above
There is a stone in my heart
She lives a life she didn't choose
And it hurts like brand-new shoes

Hurts like brand-new shoes

There is a woman in somalia
The sun gives her no mercy
The same sky we lay under
Burns her to the bone
Long as afternoon shaddows
It's gonna take her to get home
Each grain carefully wrapped up
Pearls for her little girl

Hallelujah
Hallelujah

She cries to the heaven above
There is a stone in my heart
She lives a life she didn't choose
And it hurts like brand-new shoes

Sade's 'Pearls'

© 2016 Saya Education

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