Ode to a Drum Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 17 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Ode to a Drum.
This section contains 528 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Ode to a Drum Study Guide

Africa

Although drum making exists as a craft and as an art form around the world, references to the gazelle clearly place this poem on the African continent. This is important to Komunyakaa's sense of his own identity as an African American. A subtext of the poem is that of political and cultural rebirth, or reincarnation. Just as the gazelle was defeated in the hunt, Africans were defeated at the hands of white colonialists. But like the gazelle who was given new life as a panther through the music of the drum, Africans will also rise up strong again with the help of their music and culture.

Slavery

No direct mention of slavery is made in the poem, but through the evolution of the gazelle from existing as a preyed-upon and hunted animal to a mighty and feared panther, along with references to the "trouble" that exists on the...

(read more from the Themes section)

This section contains 528 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Ode to a Drum Study Guide
Copyrights
Poetry for Students
Ode to a Drum from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.