Comparative analysis of Craig’s "A Martian Sends a Postcard Home" and Sandra’s
"Unit of Measure"


"A Martian Sends a Postcard Home" is a poem that has employed a vast usage of metaphors to explain a lot of concerns about nature. At the very initial lines, we come across books being referred to as Caxtons and their effects when read as causing the eyes to melt depicting possible tears that may be seen as one reads.
Instances where metaphors are used in "A Martian Sends a Postcard Home" include, mechanical birds with wings are pages of a book. He says they are treasured for their markings and this implies that the people who read the books really value them. He also uses the term ‘’model T’ to describe a car. The outside of the car is described by him as the outside world. That one needs a key to turn on the car on and off. This signifies the car’s ignition keys.
"Unit of Measure" on the other hand brings into attention measurements of human aspects in terms of a capybara. The author has depicted, using a lot of similes, the similarities and differences in human behaviour and that of a capybara.
In this text, we are going to look at the poems in details, highlighting similarities and differences between them.
To begin with the similarities in the two poems, we take a look at the styles used. Both poets have used figurative language in that Craig has employed a vast usage of metaphors and Sandra has used similes. Both styles make the individual poems to relay their intended messages in such a nice manner than if ordinary words were simply used. The metaphors send the reader into trying to find out what is actually meant and the simile is effective as it makes one relate to the ideas in the poem.
The poets alike criticize human beings. In the poem "A Martian Sends a Postcard Home", we come across a watch that has been tied to the wrist and human beings cannot wait to see the time pass by, they are naturally very impatient as depicted keeping the watches in the boxes. The poem “A unit of measure” also castigates human behaviour in which they do not want to be associated with lesser beings like animals. The poet goes ahead to bring into our attention instances in which animals are even better off than us. She notes that the capybara can camouflage among fish and be accepted as one of them while we cannot.  Also worth noting is that the capybara has had a set of twenty teeth which it has never shed, but which instead grow bigger, while we human beings do not have the same set we were born with. This explains that there are things that the animals can do than we.
Both poets have also floated an idea about the normal life that an individual leads. Craig has brought forward the aspect of telephone which he describes as a baby. The telephone rings and the receiver picks it up. This ringing and picking up activity is likened to a snoring sleeping baby that is awakened and is soothed to sleep. He also writes about some punishment that human beings undergo. Here the writer is talking about bathing in the bathrooms for adults while children bathe in the open. He also brings in the family setup in which couples sleep together. The sleeping process may be characterised by dreams which is brought forth as reading. Sandra has also brought in issues of comparison which are eminent in human life. People are always comparing one thing to another or on a given scale. She has brought in her description using a capybara.
We also come to realize that the everything can be used as a standard for the other and thus nothing is too inefficient or inappropriate to describe the other. The author of "Unit of Measure" has brought this home and human beings can now find a relation between themselves and animals. The other poem also uses objects to describe actions of human beings. We find human beings who are reading likened to a bird seen perching the hands.
Both poems bring about a comparison between one thing and the other. In the poem "Unit of Measure", the unit is constantly a capybara all through the poem. As we read the poem all the way down, we hardly miss a line with the word capybara. The other of the poem "A Martian Sends a Postcard Home" is also using comparison between two things. For his case, he is not mentioning the second implied thing as does the first poet. All the same, she uses the aspect of comparison.
Their exists differences as well in the individual poems. While the "Unit of Measure" talks about human occurrences, it does so using simple terms that one can easily identify with. She uses basic terms commonly applied by the human race. Such words include watermelon, fish, eating and barking among others. The poem "A Martian Sends a Postcard Home" however does speaks in tough metaphors that one has to think really deep about the intended message. This is because the persona in the poem is a Martian who is not really conversant with the cultures of mankind here on earth. He therefore uses words that are familiar to him in the outer space and this may leave one baffled.
While both texts talk about humanity and their behaviour, the intended audience varies slightly. The poem "A Martian Sends a Postcard Home" is addressed to people with a deeper understanding of the society. This is because it does not speak in plain terms that a common man would easily understand whatever message was intended. Rather, it talks much more of in strong figurative language. "Unit of Measure" however is addressed to all walks of people in the society because of its relatively clear and easy words whose meanings do not require much time to understand.
Sandra’s piece clearly portrays the negative aspects in the life of a human beings in that human beings are always feeling superior to themselves. She has acknowledged that there are things that the capybara can do things that a human being cannot. For the case of a capybara it can sleep under water while human beings cannot because of the scattered position of their ears, eyes and nose.  However, the "A Martian Sends a Postcard Home" is a general conveyance of the life of human beings and their cultures.
Summary
Both of these texts reveal aspects about human life in a hidden manner. The poems, to the extent of their diversity, have a myriad of lessons that we need to learn from nature. That human belongs should not look down upon nature in any way because they relate to the same upto a given extent. In fact, nature is better off than us in certain occasions.
With due consideration to the aspect of bathing, which is described as suffering in "A Martian Sends a Postcard Home", the author floats the idea of class in the society. That people are of various classes and that is why we have children and adults operate differently. We also see the colours dying at night and people are in pairs. This depicts couples who sleep together. This is however not the case in "Unit of Measure" because it merely entails a general warning to all mankind to respect and appreciate nature and pays no special regards to one’s age.  It is no wonder the poem is dominated by general terms like everyone and everything
The poets have at least some lessons that they so wish to impart in us as mankind. In my attempt to tackle this, I begin with the poem "Unit of Measure". Here Sandra has indicated much moral lessons to the mankind. She educates people not to look down upon others. . She advices us that each one has their own shortcomings and we need to understand each other. This is seen when she brings in the image of a capybara whose hind limbs are longer and seems to be going downhill every other time. The poem "A Martian Sends a Postcard Home" also depicts some vital lessons as regards mankind. It is of the lesson that every other thing can be used to describe the other. The Martian uses certain terms to describe some aspects on earth that would not be easily understood if one does not open up their thoughts.
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