Perspectives

Literary perspective

The poem “How To Eat a Poem” by Eve Merriam has some postmodern characteristics. This is seen through the use of reader involvement: The very first line of the poem encourages the reader to engage with the poem, almost as if it was a piece of food. Young readers are invited to approach poetry without fear and to enjoy it. The poem explores the theme of poetry as food for the mind, which is achieved through the use of the metaphor of eating fruit. 

Another postmodern characteristic is the use of metafiction since the poem makes the readers aware that they are reading a poem. This breaks the readers' illusion and forces them to reflect on the way they themselves feel about poetry. 

Also, the poem experiments with form and style as it detaches itself from traditional structures. It is written in free verse and has no particular rhyme scheme.

Textual perspective 

The postmodern poem “Kidnapped” by Ruperake Petaia is also written in free form and does not follow a rhyme scheme. The poem uses the perspective of a student from a colonized region to explore and criticize the consequences of cultural colonialism. Unlike “How to Eat a Poem”, “Kidnapped” has no internal rhymes and it follows the natural flow of words to present a narrative. 

“Kidnapped” is an example of a postcolonial literature, which is often considered part of postmodernism.

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