English AQA Anthology Cluster 2

Revision cards for most of the AQA Cluster 2 'Different Cultures' poems ('This Room' is missing and I shan't be adding it on the basis I no longer need to study these poems).

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from Search for My Tongue

Key Themes

  • Language
  • Culture
  • Identity (contrast)

Key Lines

  • |28 - Phonetically spelt Gujarati conveys the poets experiences to us - we can say the words yet we have no idea what they mean.
  • |31 - Links the extended metaphor of the tongue to a flower, which grows back gradually each year despite seeming dead, much like her language.

Sujata Bhatt has lived in various English speaking countries but being born in India, Gujarati is her first language.

Not as suitable for close analysis but there's lots to be written on the poems overall meaning. Techniques for analysis could be the repetition of spit (|14-15) or the extended metaphor of the tongue (metronymy with language).

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Unrelated Incidents

Themes

  • Language
  • Identity
  • Prejudice 

Key Lines

  • |20-22 - Tom Leonard suggests people have a prejudice towards people with a certain accent, that they would not be speaking the truth. He challenges the reader's perceptions that the "trooth" comes from someone with an RP (received pronunciation), or 'BBC' accent, why not a Glaswegian accent instead?

Enjambement is used to give the effect of an autocue scrolling down the screen. The poem is written to be read aloud, where the issue of dialect becomes clearer. The phonetic spellings are similar to the Gujarati in SFMT. This isn't an easy poem to analyse closely.

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Half-Caste

Themes

  • Identity
  • Prejudice

Key Lines

  • |3-6 - Presents the poem to the reader, asking the overall question.
  • |26-30 - Strong use of imagery to convey the meaning of the poem, it's ridiculous and ironic.

The poem uses non-standard English to show how he stands outside of the mainstream culture. It is written in free verse - suggesting that non-conformity is okay. The poem can be divided roughly into two halves, the first being imagery and the second being challenges to the reader. It makes use of repetition of key phrases (e.g. "Explain Yuself"). It is an easy to poem to use, linking to almost all poems that have the theme of identity. 

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Love After Love

Themes

  • Identity
  • Celebration
  • Transition

Key Lines

  • |8 - Use of Imperative verb (give). This is the crux point where the persona makes friends with their old self.
  • |15 - Imperative and thought provoking positive metaphor "feast".

The poem is written in the second person. It is a happy poem and fulfilment. Enjambement adds to the flowing sense of the poem and links the stanza's together. It is structured so it is in chronological order and links to SFMT, TR, HHE and PFMAIP.

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Not My Business

Themes

  • Injustice

Key Lines

  • |5-7 - shows the injustice of the persona - they should care yet the way they live means they cannot care (open to interpretation, ignorance or inability to help?)
  • |2 - They beat him like soft clay - powerful image showing how badly the captured are treated.
  • |17 - Sibilant aliteration, unexpected and shocked.

The poem is full of techniques: similes; active verbs; personification (of the truck) and repetition/aliteration. The personification occurs throughout the poem. The effect of the chorus is that it is a reoccurring event yet he ignores it. The verse-chorus structure increases tension and establishes it is his business. Links to SFMT, TR, PFMAP, HHE (conflict and structural contrast) and TR (active verb use - compare effect). Consider the poet has lived through an oppressive government in Nigeria.

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Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan

Themes

  • Race
  • Identity
  • Internal cultural conflict

Key Lines

  • |7-8 - The bangles snapped. The persona may feel broken or this may symbolise the fact this tradition harms the poet and is not practical for her.
  • |25 & 67 - Pairs, she does not resolve her lack of belonging, her feelings are unrested. Or she may feel less English...
  • |17 - The clothes are alien (don't fit) or the poet is alien?

Imagers, metaphors (clothes as culture), Sibilant aliteration and differing vocabulary can be analysed. The free verse shows flowing thoughts that are unbalanced - possibly a little random. Links to Unrelated Incidents and SFMT identity and being caught between cultures.

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Hurricane Hits England

Themes

  • Isolation
  • Transition of Cultures
  • Identity

Key Lines

  • |19 - The epiphany of the poem, the crux point. It is here she addresses the storm personally, is that because she now feels she knows it?
  • |27 - About herself, not the landscape. She is no longer attached to home. Could be a reference to slavery?
  • |36 - Resolution, she feels at home on the Earth...

The use of the repetition on |36 emphasises the message of the poem. There is a use of rhetorical questions in the middle of poem, before she becomes resolute. Oxymoron on |7 shows that it should be something she fears, but yet she finds it comforting. Written in free verse - could show an unpredictable hurricane, or reflect a random thought process. |27 is separated to show she has broken free..

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