6. Culture Clash in the Poem
There are many clashes in the poem. The first image signaling conflict is the hint of a storm brewing in the opening lines where Kikuyu flies feed upon the land and maggots upon dead Mau Mau. And within this, a sub conflict also exists between those Kikuyu believing that the rights of the individual do not necessarily violate those of the group and those convinced that individual rights do violate group rights. In lines six through ten, there is also the clash between the culture of those outside the uprising and those killed by it, outsiders with the luxury of judging the conflict, and insiders for whom no explanation is sufficient. These conflicts yield up the main confrontation of the poem, that between Mau Mau and the British, and the conflict withing the poet about which side to take.