AnalysisByChatGPT4-Volume 74-Poem : The "Jabeda"--12 February, 2024

Soman Ragavan


Posted on 12 February, 2024



27 January, 2024

Poem : “The Jabeda”



Analysis of my poems by ChatGPT-4,

(Artificial Intelligence)

Volume 74


Soman Ragavan : Hello. I will post one of my poems for analysis. Could you please comment extensively, mentioning literary genres, styles, themes, poetic language, poetic philosophies, comparison with poets of England, America, India, Africa from 1700 to 1900 and as from 1945. At college in 1968, I studied some poems of Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774), Gordon Byron (1788-1824), Samuel T. Coleridge (1772-1834), William Wordsworth (1770-1850), Robert Browning (1812-1889), Mathew Arnold (1822-1888), Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892) and some other poets of that era.  Make any comments or comparisons you wish on my poems. Say if there are other contemporary poets who write as I do and compare my poetry with theirs.

ChatGPT-4 : Hello Soman Ragavan! I'd be happy to analyze your poem, but please provide the text of the poem you'd like me to analyze. Once you share the poem, I'll do my best to provide a thorough analysis, considering the literary genres, styles, themes, poetic language, and any potential connections to poets from various periods and regions.


Soman Ragavan : Poem “THE JABEDA.”


  • Around 1991, the English seized the Mauritian fishing vessel “Jabeda” in Mauritian waters at Diego Garcia and fined the captain for “illegal” fishing in “English” Might is right. This vessel was scuttled off the northern coast of Mauritius on 12 December, 1996 to provide a habitat for marine life….. The ship was sunk, but the memory shall NEVER be got rid of ! Please see : “Le Jabeda coulé le 12 décembre (1996),” “WEEK-END” newspaper, Mauritius, 22 December, 1996, (page 23).


(2)       On this poem the following may be referred to :  “Mobilisation des épouses     de pêcheurs sur les bancs.” “Le MAURICIEN” newspaper, 14 December, 1999, (page 6).

I will post my poem when you write.

ChatGPT-4 : Thank you for sharing the background information on your poem "THE JABEDA." Now, let's delve into an analysis of the poem itself.



The title "THE JABEDA" immediately places the focus on a specific subject, suggesting that the poem revolves around the mentioned Mauritian fishing vessel. The use of uppercase letters may also signify the importance and prominence of this subject.


**Historical Context:**

The historical context you've provided about the English seizure of the Mauritian fishing vessel "Jabeda" adds depth to the poem. The reference to the incident in 1991 and the subsequent scuttling of the ship in 1996 indicates a narrative rooted in a real-world event. This historical grounding can contribute to the poem's significance and resonance.



  1. **Injustice and Power Dynamics:**

   The incident involving the seizure of the "Jabeda" and the subsequent fine reflects themes of injustice and the abuse of power. The concept that "Might is right" speaks to the imbalance in power between nations and the consequences for the weaker party.


  1. **Environmental Concerns:**

   The sinking of the ship to create a habitat for marine life introduces an environmental theme. This aspect may symbolize a form of redemption or transformation, turning a negative event into a positive contribution to nature.


**Poetic Language and Style:**

  1. **Narrative Style:**

   The poem seems to adopt a narrative style, likely conveying the events in a chronological order. This can make the poem accessible and enhance its storytelling aspect.


  1. **Symbolism:**

   The sinking of the ship can be seen as a symbolic act, representing both the loss of the vessel and the resilience of nature. Symbolism often adds layers of meaning to poetry, allowing readers to interpret the work in various ways.


**Literary Genres and Styles:**

The poem appears to fall within the genres of narrative poetry and possibly protest poetry. The focus on a specific historical event and the inclusion of social and environmental themes align with elements often found in protest poetry.


**Comparison with Historical Poets:**

While the poem may not directly align with the works of poets from the 1700-1900 period, its themes of injustice and power dynamics could draw parallels with poems addressing social and political issues from that time. The environmental aspect might find resonance with the Romantic poets who often celebrated nature.


**Contemporary Connections:**

  1. **Derek Walcott:**

   If you explore contemporary poets, Derek Walcott, a Caribbean poet, often tackled themes of colonialism, identity, and the relationship between the Caribbean and the Western world. There might be some thematic similarities.


  1. **Ben Okri:**

   Ben Okri, a Nigerian poet, often explores socio-political issues in his poetry. The themes of injustice and power dynamics in your poem could find echoes in Okri's works.



"The Jabeda" appears to be a poem rooted in a specific historical incident, using narrative and symbolic elements to convey themes of injustice, power dynamics, and environmental concerns. Its style and themes may find resonance with both historical and contemporary poets who engage with social and political issues.


If you share the actual poem, I can provide a more detailed analysis, including a closer examination of poetic language, imagery, and other literary devices used in the text.


Soman Ragavan : My poem “The Jabeda.” Please give an overview first; then, make a more detailed analysis. (Poem posted).

ChatGPT-4 : **Overview:**


"The Jabeda" is a poem that reflects on the fate of the Mauritian fishing vessel "Jabeda," which was seized by the English around 1991 for "illegal" fishing. The poem follows the vessel's journey from being stopped and fined to its eventual scuttling in 1996 to create a habitat for marine life. The narrative explores themes of injustice, resilience, and the enduring memory of the vessel.


**Detailed Analysis:**


  1. **Title:**

   The title, "The Jabeda," immediately centers the poem on the vessel, emphasizing its significance. The use of the definite article "The" gives a sense of specificity and importance to this particular ship.


  1. **Historical Context:**

   The historical context provides a foundation for the poem, grounding it in a real event. The English seizure and subsequent scuttling of the "Jabeda" shape the narrative and contribute to the themes of injustice and environmental transformation.


  1. **Structure and Form:**

   The poem is structured into stanzas, each with a distinct focus. The use of rhymed couplets in a simple ABAB rhyme scheme gives the poem a rhythmic flow, making it accessible and melodic. The structured form contrasts with the themes of disruption and loss in the narrative.


  1. **Imagery and Symbolism:**

   - **Silent Caves:** The phrase "silent caves" serves as a powerful image, suggesting the deep, underwater resting place of the Jabeda. It evokes a sense of stillness and permanence.

   - **Dancing Waves:** The imagery of the ship dancing atop the waves portrays vitality and freedom, contrasting with its fate under the waves.

   - **Thundering Memory:** The memory of the Jabeda is described as "thundering," emphasizing its lasting impact. This personification elevates the vessel's significance beyond its physical presence.


  1. **Language and Diction:**

   - **Poetic Language:** The poem employs poetic language with archaic touches, as seen in phrases like "Thou were stopp'd" and "thou fend'd the waves." This adds a timeless quality to the narrative.

   - **Alliteration and Assonance:** The repetition of sounds in phrases like "Thou bait'd the fish, thou nett'd the fish" enhances the musicality of the poem, creating a rhythmic cadence.


  1. **Themes:**

   - **Injustice and Resilience:** The poem addresses the injustice faced by the Jabeda, but it also highlights the vessel's resilience. Despite its sinking, the memory of the Jabeda persists.

   - **Environmental Transformation:** The scuttling of the ship for the benefit of marine life introduces an environmental theme. The poet suggests a positive outcome from an otherwise negative event.


  1. **Cultural and Political Critique:**

   - **Looters and Reminders:** The mention of looters who robbed lands and waters and kidnapped people adds a layer of cultural and political critique. The poem suggests that the fish and the ruins of the Jabeda serve as reminders to those who exploited the islanders.


  1. **Conclusion and Immortality:**

   - **Immortalization:** The poem concludes with the notion of the Jabeda being immortalized by the poet, ruling in lasting fame. This underscores the poet's role in preserving the memory and significance of the vessel.


In summary, "The Jabeda" combines historical context, vivid imagery, and poetic language to convey a narrative that speaks to themes of injustice, resilience, and environmental transformation. The poem's structure and language contribute to its emotive impact, making it a poignant reflection on a real-world event with broader implications.


Soman Ragavan : You say : “The English seizure and subsequent scuttling of the "Jabeda" In fact, it was Mauritians who scuttled the ship a few years later to provide a habitat for fish. History will recall that the English fined a Mauritian fishing ship for fishing in Mauritian waters of the Chagos Archipelago. The fining by the English was meant to drive home the point that it is they who own the Archipelago.


ChatGPT-4 : Thank you for providing that clarification regarding the scuttling of the "Jabeda." I appreciate the correction. This adds another layer to the poem's narrative, emphasizing the agency of the Mauritian people in responding to the English actions. The act of scuttling the ship by Mauritians to create a habitat for fish not only reflects environmental concerns but also serves as a symbolic reclaiming of agency and resilience against external imposition.


Let's revisit the analysis with this correction:


**Detailed Analysis (Revised):**


  1. **Title:**

   The title "The Jabeda" gains additional significance with the clarification that it was the Mauritians who scuttled the ship. This underscores the agency of the Mauritian people in the face of external challenges.


  1. **Historical Context:**

   The historical context now becomes more nuanced, highlighting the response of the Mauritian people to the English actions. The scuttling of the ship by Mauritians becomes a powerful symbol of resistance and environmental stewardship.


  1. **Imagery and Symbolism:**

   - **Silent Caves:** The imagery of "silent caves" now takes on a different meaning, representing not only the resting place of the Jabeda but also the deliberate action taken by Mauritians to create a new habitat.


  1. **Themes:**

   - **Mauritian Resilience:** The revised context adds depth to the theme of resilience. The act of scuttling the ship becomes an assertion of control over their environment and resources, challenging external attempts at dominance.


   - **Environmental Stewardship:** The scuttling of the ship to create a habitat for fish now serves as a more explicit symbol of environmental stewardship. This aligns with themes of ecological awareness and conservation.


   - **Political Resistance:** The poem takes on an additional layer of political resistance, with the act of scuttling being a response to the English attempts to assert ownership over the Chagos Archipelago.


  1. **Language and Diction:**

   - **Poetic Language:** The use of archaic language and poetic expressions gains renewed significance, reflecting the timeless nature of resistance and the enduring impact of the Jabeda's story.


  1. **Cultural and Political Critique:**

   - **Looters and Reminders:** The mention of looters who robbed lands and waters now emphasizes a broader critique of colonial exploitation. The fish and the ruins of the Jabeda become poignant reminders of resistance against external forces.


  1. **Conclusion and Immortality:**

   - **Immortalization:** The idea of the Jabeda being immortalized by the poet gains an even more powerful dimension. It becomes not only a poetic tribute to a sunken ship but a testament to the strength and resilience of the Mauritian people.


In conclusion, the revised analysis emphasizes the agency of the Mauritian people in responding to the English actions, turning the act of scuttling into a symbol of resistance, environmental stewardship, and cultural resilience. The poem remains a poignant reflection on a historical event with broader implications, capturing the spirit of a community asserting itself in the face of external challenges.


Soman Ragavan : Thank you very much. Goodbye. I am signing off now.


ChatGPT-4 : You're very welcome! If you ever have more questions or if there's anything else I can assist you with in the future, feel free to reach out. Goodbye, and take care!



  • Author: Soman Ragavan (Pseudonym) (Offline Offline)
  • Published: February 12th, 2024 00:13
  • Category: Unclassified
  • Views: 2
Get a free collection of Classic Poetry and subscribe to My Poetic Side ↓

Receive the ebook in seconds 50 poems from 50 different authors Weekly news

To be able to comment and rate this poem, you must be registered. Register here or if you are already registered, login here.