Throughout the four pieces “Mending Wall” by Robert Frost, “Slam, Dunk, and Hook” by Yusef Komunyakaa, “Common Ground” by Judith Ortiz Cofer, and “The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice” by Peter-Hans Kolvenbach I saw a variety of themes, but there was an underlining theme common to all. The authors had different styles and methods of writing, but the common theme of community and working together was found in each piece. Each literary piece had its own unique take on topics that are common in today’s society.
In the poem “Mending Wall” by Robert Frost, he makes a point that boundaries are outdated. The neighbor does not want the wall anymore because there is nothing to separate but trees. This point shows a sense of coming together and breaking down barriers whether it is small such as a fence separating a yard from your neighbors’ or as big as feuding countries. Breaking down walls opens doors to opportunity and ways of seeing things in a new perspective. This poem can relate to Whale Rider by Ihimaera in the sense that Koro wanted to keep the tradition barrier strong and the others such as Nanny Flower did not see why it could not be broken.
In Yusef Komunyakaa’s poem “Slam, Dunk, and Hook” he displays basketball as a supernatural through his language. The way he describes himself and the sport with allusion is captivating. His use of language portrays basketball as this sport that is superior and anyone involved is just as superior and unworldly. Komunyakaa’s use of words is so intriguing because one could get lost in the descriptions and believe they are that player. This relates to class discussions because it brings forth the idea of being out of your element and in a different world that captivates you for a period of time, similar to coming to college and being vulnerable to the changes surrounding the new experience.
Judith Ortiz Cofer makes some profound statements in her poem “Common Ground”. Displaying the ties of family and being and resembling relatives, gives a spin to the words common ground. She takes these two words and fills them with so much meaning. The family aspect is interesting because the description makes one think of their own resemblances to family members and how they are all of the same bloodline. In Whale Rider, bloodline is very prevalent throughout the novel due to the discrepancy between Koro wanting to keep Maori tradition alive and having a great granddaughter in succession. However, Kahu is Koro through blood and resemblance.