Different Cultures Poetry

A summary of my favourite key points from each of the Cluster 1 poems

  • Created by: Rebecca
  • Created on: 16-05-11 17:22

LIMBO (language)

  • knees spread wide
    • limbo dance
    • balance
    • connotations with ****
  • burning ground
    • pessimistic ending to poem - immense sufferin, haunts the reader
    • link to hell (metaphorical)
  • stick hit sound
    • assonance and sibiliance, creates tension
    • monosyllabic - rhythm of dance, conveys bitterness/anger
    • ambiguity of stick - brutality and cruelty of treatment or dance
  • dumb gods are raising me
    • metaphor
    • superiority of slavemasters
    • gods are incapable of saving them - loss of faith, despair
    • sense of hope?
    • ambiguity, confusion
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LIMBO (structure)

  • lack of punctuation
    • ongoing, endless suffering
    • limitless suffering
  • long, thin structure
    • confinement
    • restrictions of slavery
  • refrain
    • poem seems like a song
    • limbo dance perhaps keeps hope and maintains their sense of community and remembrance of their culture
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  • Small round hard stones click
    • Monosyllabic
    • Bitterness/resentment
    • Hard onomatopoeic sound of 'click'
  • tall, purple-flowering,/amiable weeds
    • strength and sense of belonging, native
    • pest/unwanted
    • friendly
    • beautiful, colourful, vibrant life
  • and
    • repetition
    • flow of emotion, building anger
    • loss of control
    • sentences also get longer
  • labouring of my lungs
    • alliteration
    • increase pace and show flowing emotions
    • vulnerability
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NOTHING'S CHANGED (more language)

  • Brash with glass
    • half-rhyme
    • conspicuous, don't belong
    • disjointed, tension
  • flaring like a flag
    • simile
    • invasion
    • reflects sound of a flag
  • incipient Port Jackson trees
    • don't belong, new, just starting
    • capitalisation makes them stand out
    • more luxurious than weeds
    • half-rhyme of 'trees' and 'weeds'
  • clear panes
    • invisible barrier between them
    • metaphorical
  • plastic v linen
    • luxury v poor
    • strenght v easily torn - fragility of relying on material possessions
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  • Equal length stanzas
    • black and white people should be equal
    • gaps between stanzas may represent segregation
  • Central 2-line stanza
    • emphasises key message of the poem
    • conveys bitterness, monosyllabic
    • isolation of black people
  • Ending same words as title
    • emphasises lack of change
    • cyclic structure, no escape, can't break free
    • short sentence conveys frustration and anger
    • lack of progress
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ISLAND MAN (language)

  • wombing
    • made up word - can't express his emotions, language barrier
    • safety and comfort of island - origin
    • onomatopoeic, calming
  • Island man
    • isolation
    • love of islan, but UK is an island too?
  • small emerald island
    • vulnerability
    • worth, value, precious to him
    • vibrant colour
  • groggily groggily
    • repetition
    • confusio - blur of two places
    • alliteration, almost clumsy
  • grey metallic soar
    • juxtaposition of colour/dull
    • cold, manmade, hard compared to island
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ISLAND MAN (more language)

  • soar and roar
    • rhyme, bombarding, surrounding sound
    • powerful, everything is against him
  • sands
    • ambiguous, confusion, blur of cultures
    • should be 'sounds'?
  • heaves himself
    • reluctance
    • despises new culture
  • Another London day
    • routine
    • endless
  • blue surf
    • vibrant colour
    • he likes ocean because it forms the island, separation
    • clean, pure, calm
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ISLAND MAN (structure)

  • stanza 1 seems quite regular
    • comfort of the island
    • half-rhyme of 'head' and 'steady' creates rhythm
  • second stanza seems disjointed
    • confused emotions
    • disjointed life, no longer content
    • separation from regularity of island
    • no longer belongs
    • transition from asleep to awake
    • could reflect the waves, linking back to the island
  • no punctuation
    • never-ending cycle
    • blur of emotions
    • blur of cultures
    • difficult to read, reader can empathise with narrator's discomfort
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BLESSING (language)

  • The skin cracks like a pod
    • monosyllabic, lack of water, anger at injustice
    • cracks, onomatopoeic, conveys severity of pain
    • whose skin? earth? human? (simile)
  • Imagine
    • imperative
    • reader can engage with narrator
  • voice of a kindly god
    • water is a gift from god
    • importance of religion (poem title)
    • incredible value of water, significance
  • roar of tongues
    • community, power in numbers, working together
    • metaphor - lion, strength
    • animalistic, atavistic desire for water
  • silver crashes
    • value of water
    • associates water with wealth, hints at injustice, rich and poor
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BLESSING (more language)

  • pots,/ brass, copper, aluminium,/plastic buckets,/frantic hands
    • list conveys excitement, perhaps hints at desperation
    • community is eager to have water
  • screaming in the liquid sun
    • light, hope, warmth, comfort (sun and water both bring life)
    • ambiguous, screaming hints at celebration and suffering
    • perhaps linked to hell?
  • polished to perfection
    • alliteration (plosives)
    • comfort and unity water brings
    • yet perhaps only superficial, exterior benefits
  • blessing sings
    • personification of blessing
    • celebration, music
  • small bones
    • reminder of poverty, benefits are fleeting, poverty remains
    • vulnerability and fragility remains
    • pessimistic ending to the poem
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BLESSING (structure)

  • monosyllabic opening with short sentences
    • lack of water
    • discomfort before the event
  • enjambment in second stanza
    • flow of water
    • emphasised by rhyme (found/ground/around)
    • shows how event brings community together
    • places 'fortune' and 'silver' at start of line, significant, show value
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  • plastic v linen
    • bright, colourful and vibrant v dull and plain
    • cheap v luxury
    • disposable v valuable
    • strength v fragility (reliance on worldldy possessions)
  • hanging on and looking down
    • metaphorical interpretation
    • life is a struggle
    • resilient and determined
    • perhaps they comdemn rich lifestyle and disapprove
    • poet thinks poor are in fact superior to rich
  • grungy v casually coifed
    • contrast, dirty and clean
    • alliteration, sarcasm
    • casually implies quick yet coifed implies time and effort, contradictory
  • on the way (to his architect's office/home)
    • two different journeys
    • beginning and end of journeys, rich have more to look forward to
    • repetition highlights similarity between the two
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TWO SCAVENGERS (more language)

  • grey iron hair
    • metaphor
    • strength
    • perhaps link to gates, as though they are trapped by poorness
  • gargoyle Quasimodo
    • simile, comparison to something ugly
    • wards away evil from churches, clears street of rubbish
    • both are shunned from society
    • statue, inactive, unable to change situation
  • odorless TV ad
    • fake, fantasy
    • ironic, they make it 'odorless'
  • cool couple
    • alliteration
    • perhaps sarcastic and mocking
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TWO SCAVENGERS (structure)

  • disjointed
    • reflect waves (high seas/ of this democracy)
    • indentation, separation of rich and poor
    • overlap shows they share common ground and should be similar
    • structure is built on word 'democracy' appears precarious and fragile
  • last lines
    • very fragmented
    • demonstrate injustice and separation
    • make lines read at slower pace, sarcasm
    • force reader to contemplate about the ideas the poet is portraying
  • scavengers are on top of beautiful people
    • hints at moral superiority
    • represents separation again
  • no caesuras
    • endless routine of injustice, no escape
    • cyclic pattern
    • difficult to read, reader can empathise with frustration
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  • crawl, driven, risked
    • scorpion portrayed as innocent
    • suggests community response is an overreaction
    • they interpret sting as intentional, yet narrator knows its accidental
  • swarms of flies
    • simile, community is a nuisance
    • flies feed on death, they feed of woman's suffering
    • compares to animals, they are like scorpion
    • vast numbers, more powerful so worse than scorpion
    • dehumanises villagers, makes prayers etc. seem foolish
  • throwing giant scorpion shadows
    • metaphorical, worsen situation
    • enlarge the problem
  • they said
    • repetition, incessant chatter, nuisance, irritating
    • one body, sense of community, anonymity
    • lack of individual thought
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NIGHT OF THE SCORPION (more language)

  • I remember the night
    • first person feels personal
    • directly involves reader so they feel like they're at the scene
  • flash/ of diabolic tail in the dark room
    • evil, linked to the devil
    • juxtaposed with its innocence
    • darkness suggests evil and fear
  • only said
    • juxtaposed with they said
    • simplicity, rational
    • suggest family is more important than religion or community
  • powder, mixture, herb and hybrid
    • list shows desperation of otherwise 'rational' father
    • alliteration increases the pace and heightens the tension
  • peace of understanding on each face
    • happy it's not them
    • somforted by seeing her suffer
    • it was meant to happen, karma
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  • enjambment
    • disconcerting and discomforting for the reader
    • shows flow of chatter and blur of incantations
    • loss of control, helpless, nothing you can d
  • long first stanza and short second stanza
    • mother's simplicity and reason in spite of suffering
    • villagers' neverending talk
    • ironic that incantations, curses and blessings are futile
    • gap may represent that it's only time that can heal
    • length may show the long suffering of the ordeal.
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VULTURES (language)

  • drizzle of one despondent dawn
    • alliteration of plosives, aggressive
    • pathetic fallacy, hints at negtivity of poem
    • semantic field of death and gloom
  • cold/ telescopic eyes
    • metallic, manmade evil
    • weapon
    • evil
  • her face turned to the wall
    • personifies love
    • love exists in evil
    • feelings of shame, disgust, ignorance towards evil
  • Commandant v Daddy
    • capitalisation links the tow, both are important
    • colloquial term makes him seem friendly, ironic
    • role in war and role as father, how war can change people (WW2)
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  • fumes of/ human roast clinging/ rebelliously to his hairy/nostrils
    • feelings of disgust and horror
    • vivid imagery
    • evil stays with him and won't go away
    • fumes hint at gassing of the Jews 
    • fumes have negative, unpleasant connotations
  • chocolate
    • sweetness contrasts with human roast
  • ogre/ a tiny glow-worm/ tenderness
    • happiness of love existing in evil
    • metaphor glow-worm seems weak and insignificant in evil
  • icy caverns
    • coldness and evil can extinguish vulnerable flame
  • despair v praise
    • complexity
    • should we be happy that love exists in evil or afraid that evil exists in love?
    • suggests the two must coexist
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VULTURES (structure)

  • 4 stanzas
    • love in evil (vultures)
    • confusion and contemplation
    • evil in love (Nazi officer)
    • presents reader with perturbing ending, prompts reader to question themselves
  • ends poem with evil
    • resonates with the reader
    • makes poem pessimistic
    • makes the evil seem dominant
  • ellipsis (...)
    • convey confusion
    • illustrate disjointed feelings of poet
    • portray the overlap of love and evil
    • slow the pace and prompt reader to contemplate
  • isolation of strange
    • epitomizes poets feelings of confusion
    • illustrate complexity of human nature
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  • light hearts turned to stone
    • metaphor
    • lifeless, culture lost warmth and happiness
    • burden and damage of war
    • poet's cold-hearted bitterness towards war
  • sir
    • repetition, perhaps mocking, poet doesn't agree that the person asking the questions is superior
    • ironic, he should be intelligent, he should know the answers
  • no more buds
    • loss of life
    • no more new life
    • loss of beauty
  • bones were charred
    • horror and disgust
    • severity of pain
    • plosive conveys brutality
    • vivid image, blackened, evil overcame goodness
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  • laughter is bitter to the burned mouth
    • happiness turned to pain
    • plosive alliteration, severity of suffering
    • vivid image of pain
    • short sentence suggests anger
  • When bombs smashed those mirrors
    • permanent damage
    • 'smashed' hard, onomatopoeic sound
    • short sentence, bitter, angry
  • flight of moths in moonlight
    • fragility, vulnerability
    • gentle alliteration of 'm'
  • Who can say?
    • ambiguity
    • contradicts simplicity and patronising nature of questions
    • no memory of culture
    • totally lost forever
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WHAT WERE THEY LIKE? (structure)

  • Questions and Answers
    • difference in length
    • doesn't wait for an answer, doesn't really care, only asks questions out of etiquette
    • past tense of questions, culture has gone
    • closed questions, simplicity, yes/no response, patronising
    • longer answers, contradictory, there is more to the Vietnamese culture
    • ambiguity of answers contrasts with simplicity of questions
    • conveys complexity and intricacy of the culture
    • makes it more difficult to read, reader feels the same discomfort and perhaps frustration
    • perhaps conveys the difficult nature of the topic, how can you begin to discuss something so painful?
    • division between questioner and answerer
    • distance from present and past
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This was really helpful! thanks 



no problem, i'll try to add some more :)

Reivi Kiizhu


You're really amazing! I have my exam tomorrow, and this will help SO much. Do you happen to have them for pre-1914 and Heaney and Clarke?



So helpful!!! I feel much more confident now- thank-you so much :D



Amazing! Really helpful and detailed - thank you so much!! :)



Thank you so much! I was having a last minute panic that I'd forgotten everything and this has reminded me and added more detail - Thanks again :)


flo little


thaaaanks! this was so useful :) im gonna ace this exam!



thank you very much, this is extremely helpful- thanks again :D



can you please make some for pre-1914 and Seamus Heaney and Gillian Clarke ?? pleaaase



Thanks! This is amazing *o*



Thank you! This is amazing, I have my exam today D:



wow! thank you for all the positive feedback!!! I'll try to make some for the lit poetry too but I need to focus on my bio exam at the moment because it's this afternoon :O But after that I'll have plenty of time to make the others, hopefully! Hope you all do well in your exams ***



This is so ****, just failed my english exam LOL

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