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Written by Edward Kamau Brathwraite
He was born in Barbados in the 1930s and in 1949 he won a
scholarship in Barbados and attended Cambridge university.
He taught in Ghana for may years.
He was very interested in ethnic origins and sense of identity.
Is this the reason why he wrote Limbo?…read more

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Island Man
Grace Nichols was born in Guyana in 1950 and she grew up
in a small village until she moved to the city with her family
at the age of eight.
She had a very English education, she even studied English
literature in university
She worked as a journalist and a teacher, before she
moved to London in 1977.
In a book, it had been quoted, "she says that's she feels at
home in both the Caribbean and England.
Is this the reason why she wrote Island Man?…read more

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Morning
Island Man
and island man wakes up
to the sound of blue surf
in his head
the steady breaking and wombing
wild seabirds
and fishermen pushing out to sea
the sun surfacing defiantly
from the east
of his small emerald island
he always comes back groggily groggily
Comes back to sands
of a grey metallic soar
to surge of wheels
to dull north circular roar
muffling muffling
his crumpled pillow waves
island man heaves himself
Another London day…read more

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And limbo stick is the silence in front of
me
limbo
limbo like me
limbo
limbo like me
stick is the whip
long dark night is the silence in front of me
and the dark deck is slavery
limbo
limbo like me
stick is the whip and the dark deck is
Limbo
slavery
stick hit sound
and the ship like it ready
limbo limbo like me
stick hit sound
drum stick knock
and the dark still steady
and the darkness is over me
limbo
knees spread wide
limbo like me sun coming up
and the water is hiding me
and the drummers are praising me
long dark deck and the water surrounding
limbo
me out of the dark
limbo like me
long dark deck and the silence is over me and the dumb gods are raising me
limbo knees spread wide
and the dark ground is under me up
limbo like me up
down up
down
down and the music is saving me
and the drummer is calling me hot
slow
limbo step
limbo like me
on the burning ground…read more

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So what's so similar about the two poems?
- Sense of place Both the Island Man and the slaves do not know
where they are. They seem to be in two minds, two
places. In Island Man he dreams about his home
island and is living in London, the slaves are in a
ship, not knowing where they are...
- Not knowing where The slaves seem to be going into the darkness, the
their fate lies.. Island Man seems to be going to see a new London day
again.…read more

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