The refrain

Marechera uses the refrain “Daddy! Daddy!” explicitly to indicate that which is traumatically repressed innocence. This appears to be the aspect of the “Real” which is the Lacanian unassimilable aspect of experience. The refrain appears in The Poems Semantics and in the play The Wall, where the typical Marecherean trope of patriarchal rape, betrayal and abuse is played out. In the post war play, which features A Beckettian lack of memory as its plays’ trope, the refrain clearly enunciates directly the betrayal of innocence, because the female children of the soldiers are sacrificed as victims of war. Thus, “Daddy! Daddy!” is a condemnation of a war which was ostensibly fought “for the children” and yet did not serve them, but served male enthusiasms, instead. The lack of memory also indicates the traumatic nature of the war for the men — both black and white, they cannot remember what took place, although both were participants. But, in The Poems Semantics, the traumatic refrain returnds the poet from the realm of mere perceptions to the realm of the immediacy of experience. It turns him back to nature, indeed, into the very being of nature, as a tree. So, the experience of the traumatic level of being is ultimately life enhancing and integrates one from an abstractive attitude towards life  into a direct relationship with Nature.