Poems From different Cultures Cluster 1

notes for cluster 1

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  • Created by: ejehi
  • Created on: 16-01-10 10:48
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Limbo refers to West Indian dance-dancer has to bend backwards to get under bar which
gradually lowered-has to get closer to ground.
Region on borders of hell where unbaptised babies according to Christian religion
Imaginary place for unwanted people like prison
Chronicles exportation of slaves from west Africa to west indies where they were forced
to work on plantation
Repetition-allows use to notice keywords
Limbo-symbolically form of disgrace because you have to lower urself and be treated as
Dark-hints at loneliness and despair of captivity
Night time fears are generally at worse, darkness and silenced combined-highlight sense of
Stick-emphasizes sense of brutality an devil actions of slave owners use violence to keep
people down.
As poem progresses see negative imagery depicting horrific violence
"knees spread wide and the dark ground is under me"-physical forcing to ground
symbolizes the evil domination of the slave owners-reinforced by "down down
Towards end negative imagery replaced by positive imagery.
"sun"-appears symbol of hope/life-addition repetition "up up" highlights reversal in fortune
Image of "burning ground" suggests fire of revival/rebirth-slaves born again like phoenix.
Religion referred to when poet states "out of the dark the dumb gods are raising me"
Poet saying slaves no longer downtrodden or abused. Victims raised out of slavery
"dumb gods"-hints at sense of bitterness ­anger at church and religion for allowing slavery
to continue.
Free verse-some rhyme and strong rhythm
Suggest strong musical beat of limbo.
Layout very visual-sticking way shows reversal of fortunes from "down down down" to "up
up up"
Two scavengers

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Poet American part of beat movement
Seen as outsiders in conservative world of
Known to comment on social problems in USA at the time
Poem focuses on differences between rich and poor in America
America always advertised itself as place where people come get rich and are
Poem suggest this is not true.
Pot makes us see scene by describing it
E.g.-uses bright colours in stanza 1-"a bright yellowgarbage truck//with two...…read more

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Considers difficulties of an immigrant from Caribbean how to cope with city life
Dreams/memories of beautiful island contrast with realities of London
Never forget roots-miss place of birth.
Images effective and give image of scene of idyllic island
E.g.-"sun surfing defiantly"-gives image of the sun pushing up boldly over the sea
Image of "emerald island"-suggests lush green of island but also suggest place
precious and treasured
Imagery through contrast
Colours "emerald and blue" and "gleaming sun"
Contrast cold "grey metallic" of London.…read more

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Also comparing silver to water because silver is precious ­just like water in India.
Several religious connotations in this poem
E.g. title "blessing"
Poet refers to the sound that water make when hits tin mug "the voice of a
kindly god"
Seems to suggest we should praise god for the gift of water-shouldn't take for
On other han-criticising God. If God was "kind" there would be water for all.
Wouldn't have to rely on water main bursting for water.…read more

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Also poets father "sceptic, rationalist"-highlighting distance from religion & beliefs
At end poet suggest it was time which heals mother not prayers or "powders,
mixture herbs and hybrids" that cured mother
Poet makes point saying "after twenty hours//it lost its sting"-poison had enough
time to disperse through body.…read more

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Joy of singing has gone from their lives "it is silent now"
Short sentence used for impact.
"viet nam" split highlights ignorance of foreigners
Free verse-gives poet greater freedom to express thought and ideas.
2 parts. Part 1 questions. Part2 answers to question in part 1.…read more

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Also images of war-eg "trench" "bashed in head" "corpse" "hallowed
remenats"-this is not modern or technological war but is brutal and physical war
Poet Nigerian-witnessed devastation cause by biaafran war.
Violence and corpse represent his home life.
Free verse-gives poet greater freedom to express thoughts and ideas
Lines irregular lengths.…read more

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Free verse-gives poet greater freedom to express their thoughts and feeling
Six stanza's-reflect district six.
Stanza 4 split between lines 26+27 emphasises segregation between blacks and
All stanza 8 lines long
Ending-poem ends on negative memorable note-even in present nothing changed
Start and ends in the same way. Circular structure.…read more


Paul Dutton

A good set of notes for this cluster.  Bullet points are used for content and context etc.

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