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Educate: Flowery memory
This is the column that goes back in time to talk about poetic techniques. Here you will find several literary styles that we probably all have had at school. This to refresh our memory. But you will also find tips for writing a poem, story or book.

This time, in our Flowery Memory column, we'll talk about two literary styles that sometimes confuse people: Sarcasm and Irony.


Let's start with the first: Sarcasm


Karkó di Kabayé [1]

Bo ta abusá di beter,

hasi ko’i ridíkulo

anda den mal kren

ke hunga Superman

serka djak’i kaña,    

ku nada mas

ta ila fini

pa tantia

bo saku di karson


B’a za mahòk

chubatu kurnú                                                                                                        

Ta ora di

hala faha mará,

tapa warda,

wanta brek

i baha for di tròli


Kurason kayente

ta mata kaikai!


Taken fromi: Djis un pensamentu. Kolekshon di poesia i prosa poétiko. Tomo I; Curaçao, 2010, page 92


In the passage above, we see that sarcasm is used here to convey some kind of feeling.

What is sarcasm?

Sarcasm is an ironic or satirical comment, thus a way to convey a feeling through humor; but this humor wants to have a negative influence. It wants to hit you hard. It is full of anger and sometimes even insults.


This is often done by words that want to express the opposite meaning of the word used, to ridicule a person. In this way they try to hide the anger, frustration, bitterness and/or insult a little, but they still want to be strong in their given criticism.


In this passage of our poem Karkó di Kabayé, you can read and clearly feel through the chosen words and the tone of the poem that the narrator does not really agree with the actions of the person in the poem.

First of all, the title of the poem Karkó di Kabayé already indicates this. It is part of the phrase: Bieu manera karkó di kabayé, which means old like Methusaleh; a very old and poorly cared for person. In other words, by those words you already know that they are not just going to talk about an adult or an old person, but rather about a poorly groomed person. This means that you can already feel that it does not have a very positive connotation.

In the first verse of the poem, we feel that sarcasm is used to damp the anger the narrator feels for the guy in the poem because people are fooling him.

Words like Superman are used, while they want to say the exact opposite. A Superman is a hero, a person who does good, a person who is admired. But the word is mainly used here in an opposite sense of what the actual word stands for.

What the narrator wants to say is that the man has nothing of Superman, nothing of a hero, nothing to admire. On the contrary, the narrator means that he is pitiful, a stupid man, used by people. A despicable person.

In the second verse of the poem, we see that sarcasm is used to offend people. Words and phrases such as "B'a za mahòk" and "chubatu kurnú" are used. 

"Za mahòk" means "loud snoring". "Chubatu kurnú" means that you can no longer reproduce. " These words together with the following words are clearly intended to offend the person and also refer to his sexual apparatus in a very negative light.

Sarcasm  is used to ridicule and make fun of people by attacking in a serious way and by making people look like a super laughable person. Sarcasm is usually expressed in a hostile tone.



But now you may wonder what is: irony?

Irony, like sarcasm, uses words that express the opposite meaning of the words used. But the purpose of irony, unlike sarcasm, does not offend people.

Irony also criticizes by humor, but it is milder than sarcasm.

Let's admire the following passage:


Galardon pa Don Ladron


Fama di strea di Hollywood bo a alkansá

Na tur medio di komunikashon bo ta solisitá

Paparazzi tur kaminda bo tras

Alkansá bo? Hamas


Beaku manera Nanzi

Astuto manera Zoro

Es ku ke hinka bo den kalabus

tin ku kana un kaminda di krus


Taken from: Djis un pensamentu. Kolekshon di poesia i prosa poétiko. Tomo I; Curaçao, 2010, page. 86


In the above passage, we see that irony is used to refer to the subject. Some characteristics of the subject are presented in a humorous way.

Here too we see the ironic aspect of the poem in the title: Galardon pa Don Ladron. The fact that a thief, who already has a negative connotation, is called "Don [Mister]" already implies a contradiction. "Don [sir]" or "Doña [madam]" are words used to express respect for someone. What a thief really doesn't deserve to be called. An "award", a prize or an honorary trophy is not given to a thief.

In the first verse they talk about the thief as if they are talking about a very important person, a renowned person, in our community. A well-known international artist, who journalists like to interview . All of the above suits a thief, but in the opposite sense.

This means that the thief is not famous, but rather notorious.


He is not asked in the media. They want to make a report, they want to report about the news. And it's not the paparazzi that's behind him, but the police.

Note that they also want to mock the thief here, but this is made much more subtle.

In the second verse it is as if they want to praise the thief. With words like "beaku [foxy], accompanied by characters like Nanzi and Zoro.

Here they focus on some "qualities" that thieves can have, where they are not easily caught. Many "positive" words and characteristics of the thief are mentioned here, where you can clearly see that they both criticize the thief and the system that sometimes has difficulty catching certain thieves. So there is some criticism here by the use of humor.


Sarcasm and irony are not only used in poetry and literature. We also use them in our daily conversation, sometimes without knowing it.
Consider the following examples:

1. Someone sees someone else lying on the floor in a painful situation. He runs to the person on the floor and asks, "Did you fall? The other person replies:
           "No, I'm just resting here." Or
           "Oh no, I'm inspecting the floor."
2. If someone does something wrong: "Beautiful! Keep it up!"
3. If someone says something that is not fun at all: "Very funny!"
4. "Incredible! That's the most eloquent thing I've heard come out of your mouth."
5. "Oh, you’re not coming anymore for dinner? No problem! I only took three hours to              prepare your favorite meal. '
6. "I hope your life is as good as you claim online.
7. "Oh don't worry about anything. That antique vase only cost 500 guilders. '
8. I think your talent stayed at home. '
9. "Are you so annoying every day, or did you put in extra effort today?"
10. "The professor's speech was so interesting that I almost didn't have to drink my third           cup of coffee."
1. Someone who says, "How wonderful!" While the situation is very bad.
2. The police were robbed yesterday ...
3. Someone gets a flat tire and says, "I think today is my lucky day!"
4. Someone wants to buy a mattress. He goes to a store, lies on the mattress to test it, and     says, "This bed is as soft as a rock."
5. The air conditioner in someone's bedroom no longer works. The man turns around and         says to his wife, "It's just as cold in here as it is in hell."
6. A girl breaks a nail and starts crying. Her boyfriend says in a sad voice, "Oh no! This is the     end of the world."
7. "And that's the best thing you can do, I think."
8. ‘So according to you I’m an idiot. Well, thank you very much!
9. You laugh at your friend who just slipped on a banana peel and fell flat to the ground,          and just after that you lose your balance and fall very hard to the ground.
10. The new chief was as civilized as a shark.


I'm just returning the favor, sweetie_.j
Top 40 Sarcastic humor quotes.jpg
Haha actually I did ;) LOL.jpg
[1] Part of the expresion: 'Bieu manera karkó di kabayé' which means, 'OId like Methuselah'. Someone that's very old and poorly cared for.
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