English Lit. Poems From Different Cultures

Those are all the poems I studied for my exam last year, hope it helps. Includes nothings changed, scavengers, island man etc. etc.

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Limbo: Ambiguous meanings can represent an imaginary place of the forgotten or
An unknown place between two extremes
A prison

Subject matter: Limbo is a poem with deep roots in African culture. It is composed
of two narratives, one describing the journey from Africa to sugar plantations in…

Page 2

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Attitude: References to darkness and silence create a dark mood from the off set
the connotations of light and when the poet talks of the music saving him the mood
changes and as the drum beats he is almost `resurrected'
Imagery: The poem creates an image of a ritual being…

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In the last stanza "boy again" shows how he feels reduced and small, a child
again. "Hands burn, for a stone, a bomb" show's the poet's deep anger,
frustration and hurt. It makes him want to be violent.

Attitude/Tone: The use of alliteration and monosyllables make the words snappy

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"The dull north circular roar" is a cultural reference to a very busy ring road
that goes all of the way round London.
Repetition of the word muffling is used as the island man wakes up to reality
and the sound of the sea drifts away.
The word "heave" suggesting…

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The metaphor "silver crashes to the ground" also helps to show how
precious the water to the people.
The community is described as a "congregation" another link to religion.
"butts in with pots, brass, copper, aluminium, plastic buckets" tells the
reader that the people are not wealthy and are desperate…

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garbage men because it suggests that they live off the rubbish of others - a
scavenger beetle lives off rotting flesh. However, 'Beautiful People' is a
compliment. So, right from the start, we feel the garbage men are at a
The poem seems to re-enforce the American dream of…

Page 7

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almost finished or half made. This could be used to represent the outlook
people should have towards garbagemen as the public only know of a part
of their life and shouldn't judge them.
The garbagemen stare at the young couple 'as from a great distance' (line
27). They are actually…

Page 8

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Night of the scorpion

Poet: Ezekial was born in Bombay, India during the British rule.
Subject matter: The poem shows a clash of cultures in rural India, the idea of rituals
and modern more sceptic and rationalistic beliefs. The narrator recalls the night his
mother was bitten by a scorpion.…

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uses variation in sentence and line structure to create the sense of a chaotic babble
mingling with the continuous drone of prayers.(lines 23-26)
Rhythm: The poem is written in free verse with no rhyme scheme and has more of a
conversational effect as if he is recounting what happened to…

Page 10

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Detached Tone - the son is an onlooker - describing the event - factual and
unemotional - as a child does he understand what's happening?
Emotion - only in last 3 lines - set apart - mother's emotions are reported.
Onomatopoeia - 'buzzed', 'clicked', 'groaning' - uncomfortable sounds.
Alliteration -…


Paul Dutton


A really detailed set of notes on each poem.  This resource has plenty of infomation on context, structure and language.  Excellent.

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