Anthology notes FOR cluster 1 and 2

used these notes for my exam last week. it never occured to me that i could post it on here :(

hope its not too late :)

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What To Look For in a Poem...
NB ­ make sure you have markup turned on (under the view toolbar) to
see the annotations...
Island Man by Grace Nichols
Comment: Rhythm sounds like
Morning waves on shore
and island man wakes up Comment: made-up word to
suggest the nurturing nature of
to the sound of blue surf sleep and the sea ­ like a womb.
in his head Comment: Vocabulary of the
sea ­ line break here emphasises
the steady breaking and wombing this word at the end of the line -
seabirds
Comment: Lots of sibilant `s'
wild seabirds
sounds in this poem, suggesting
the sound of the sea.
and fishermen pushing out to sea Comment: defiantly, like the
way the island man refuses to
the sun surfacing defiantly forget his homeland
from the east Comment: Powerful description
­ gem-like description
of his small emerald island Comment: Repetition suggests
he always comes back groggily groggily the waves ­ doesn't want to wake
up
Comment: Pun on sounds/ sands
Comes back to sands Comment: City vocabulary
Comment: We expect roar, but
of a grey metallic soar he uses soar ­ suggest seabirds ­
to surge of wheels mixing up images ­ just liked the
man is of mixed nationality
to dull North Circular roar Comment: Mixing up images
Comment: Named a part of
London
muffling muffling Comment: Roar rhymes with
his crumpled pillow waves soar above ­ suggesting the
circular movement of the wheels
island man heaves himself mentioned in the line between,
returning to the same sound
Comment: Repetition - sea
Another London day Comment: The effort of leaving
the dream ­ it has taken up to here
to leave the sea imagery behind,
the dream of his original home has
lingered. He can never leave
behind his past
Comment: Concrete line ­ the
reality of London ­ the sea has
been left behind

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Page 2

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Not my Business by Niyi Osundare
They picked Akanni up one morning
Beat him soft like clay Comment: Powerful image ­
flesh beaten soft like clay
And stuffed him down the belly Comment: Personification ­
Of a waiting jeep.…read more

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IMPORTANT - in the exam you will have to compare a specific
poem from one Cluster (named in the question) with a poem (or
more than one poem) of your choice from any other Cluster.
Knowing the themes and concerns of each poem is vital
therefore if you are to pick the best poem to write about.
I have divided the poem analysis up using a system of question
and answers...…read more

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Sound is vital in the poem (it's a limbo dance!). Onomatopoeia is used in,
`drum stick knock' for example. The, `drummer' is frequently mentioned. The
rhythm is very strong (look at lines 3-6).
The structure of the poem is in two parts and describes a journey. The
slaves are on the ship, and then arrive at their destination and step onto the,
`burning ground'.…read more

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Tatamkhulu Afrika - Nothing's Changed
What is it about? This poem depicts a society where rich and poor are divided.
In the apartheid era of racial segregation in South Africa, where the poem is set,
laws, enforced by the police, kept apart black and white people. The poet looks
at attempts to change this system, and shows how they are ineffective, making
no real difference.…read more

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Grace Nichols - Island Man
What is it about? The subtitle really explains this simple poem - it tells of a man
from the Caribbean, who lives in London but always thinks of his home.
What do I need to know about the author? Nichols was born in Guyana and now
lives in Sussex. She claims to feel at home in both places, and lives in two
worlds, like island man.
What poetic features are noteworthy?
See annotated fully annotated poem above.…read more

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Imtiaz Dharker - Blessing
What is it about? This poem is about water: in a hot country, where the supply is
inadequate, the poet sees water as a gift from a god. When a pipe bursts, the
flood which follows is like a miracle, but the "blessing" is ambiguous - it is such
accidents which at other times cause the supply to be so little.…read more

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The poem ends with a picture of children - "naked" and "screaming". The
sense of their beauty ("highlights polished to perfection") is balanced by the idea
of their fragility, as the "blessing sings/over their small bones". This also suggests
the fragility of a world dependent on water.
What are the key themes in the poem? The differences between cultures, how
climate and situation affect people's lives and their outlook.
Do I want to use it in the exam? PROBABLY.…read more

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Lawrence Ferlinghetti - Two Scavengers in a Truck, Two
Beautiful People in a Mercedes
What is it about? Quite simply, the rich-poor divide, the culture of the rich and
how it differs to the culture of the poor. The "Beautiful people" in the title is
perhaps written with a mild sense of irony - as this phrase was originally coined
by the hippie movement in 1967 (maybe earlier) to refer to the "flower children"
who shared the counter-culture ideals of peace and love.…read more

Page 10

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But the poet started
this statement with "as if" - and we do not know if this is an illusion or a real
possibility. The American belief in equality is often thought to be false, as
America is not an equal society.
Visually the poem is split horizontally down the page. This perhaps
suggests the divided society that is at the heart of the poem.…read more

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