GCSE English: Poems from Different Cultures Cluster 1

poems

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Limbo - Edward Kamau Brathwaite

The Poet

  • Brathwaite was born in 1930's in Barbados, in the West Indies and is interested in slave nations and thier African origins

What it's about

  • A limbo dance, which is an extended metaphor to describe the African people's ship journey to the Caribbean colonies to work as slaves
  • Remembering the history of slave culture

Theme

  • Identity - the poet shows that the african people are losing thier identity, as they are slaves and have lost thier freedom
  • First person - This gives the poem a more personal feel, allowing the reader to connect with and understand the personas feelings.
  • Tradition - the limbo dance was a tradition among slaves and is now a traditional dance in West Indian culture to celebrate freedom. The limbo performed in groups, which shows the solidarity of the slaves
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Structure

  • Very seperated lines createing a long poem - to show the length of the journey
  • Repeated chorus - like a song, creates rhythm
  • 1) Beginning of the dance ('silence in front of me'), 2) the middle of the journey, which is the worst part, 3) the end to suffering and the journey, uses full stop.

Language

  • References to slavery - "stick is the whip", "stick, hit, sound", "the dark deck is slavery", "knees spread wide"
  • Repetition - "limbo like me", "up, up, up", "down, down, down"
  • Metaphors - "silence in front of me", "dark deck", "darkness", "sun coming up"
  • Rhythm - "hit, stick, sound", "knees, spread, wide"

Attitudes and Feelings

  • Anger at the conditions and the cruelty and injustice of slavery
  • Admires the strength of the slaves at the end
  • Celebrates the survival of the slaves
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Nothing's Changed - Tatamkhulu Afrika

The Poet

  • Born in Egypt, but raised as a white South African and lived in district six in Cape Town.
  • He was strongly against the apartheid

What it's about

  • The poet goes back to district six, where, during the apartheid it was a 'white's only' area. Now it is a mixed area - but he sees little difference.

Theme

  • Politics - Even though Nelson Mandela is in power and people are equal, he still sees seperation of the two races
  • Change - change in seperation of races, political change, people are equal, but people attitudes have not changed
  • Places - District six has changed negatively to what he remembers - "my feet know"
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Structure

  • The poet remembers district six, where he used to live
  • He describes the white area and the black area - "white's only inn", "working mans cafe"
  • Near repetition of "no sign says it is" -

Language

  • Bitter language - "crunch", "skin about my bones", "we know where we belong", "it's in the bone"
  • Metaphor - "Glass" is a metaphor for the apartheid - "hands burn for a stone, a bomb to shiver down the glass" - he wants to get rid of the seperation.
  • Comparisons - The white and black areas- "new, upmarket" juxtoposed wiht "take it with you, eat it at a plastic tables top"

Attitudes and Feelings

  • Recognition of district six, where he used to live
  • Anger towards the injustice of what he sees and this turns to feelings of violence.
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Island Man - Grace Nichols

The Poet

  • Grace Nichols was born in Guyana
  • She was a teacher/journalist in the Caribbean until she moved to Britain

What it's about

  • A man from the Caribbean, who is living in London
  • Wakes up with dreams of his Island and slowly returns to reality of city life

Theme

  • Places - Remembers and dreams about his homeland and doen't want to be in London
  • People - an individual who feels alone in London. He has a clear sense of where he belongs and feels homesick.
  • Description - uses imagery to describe the island as unspoilt and natural compared to the noisy, unatural city.
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Structure

  • 'groggily groggily' is seperate from the rest of the poem, maybe to show his seperation from his Island.  Also, the last line stands out, 'Another London day'. The messy structure also shows the muddled, sleepy feel of the poem
  • The line lengths change too, to make the poem look like waves on a beach, which is what the persona is remembering

Language

  • Contrasting Descriptions - e.g. colours - 'blue surf', 'emerland island' compared to 'grey metallic soar'. Also some things are similar between the two e.g. 'surge', 'soar', 'roar'. Also the line, 'the sun surfacing defiantly' shows ow he doesn't want to get up and face reality.
  • Metaphors - the value of water - 'the voice of a kindly god', 'fortune', 'silver', 'congregation', 'blessing' - refers to religion, the people worship water.

Attitudes and Feelings

  • The reader feels empathy for him - most people hate waking up from dreams and facing reality
  • The man is fond of and misses his Island
  • There is resentment and dreas toward his city life in London
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Blessing - Imtiaz Dhaker

The Poet

  • She was born in Pakistan
  • She believes that identity comes from beleifs and states of mind' instead of nationality.

What it's about

  • Set in a slum called Dharavi, in Bombay
  • Describes the reactions of peopleto a burst water pipe - how precious it is to them

Theme

  • Description - descriptions of the rush for water and the peoples desperation - 'frantic hands'. Also metaphors are used to describe the water's value to them- 'fortune', 'silver'


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Structure

  • irregular rhyming sheme - adds to the bursting and rush for water
  • Some short lines - shows the quick ruch for water
  • Irregular stanzas - 2 lines, 4 lines, 11 lines, 6 lines
  • The beginning talks about the dryness of the slums and thirst for water, the main stanza describes the water pipe bursting and the last stanza talsk about the children in the slums - emphasises the preciousness of life and that water is life-giving

Language

  • Metaphors - the value of water - 'the voice of a kindly god', 'fortune', 'silver', 'congregation', 'blessing' - refers to religion, the people worship water.
  • Life-related language - survivil and life-giving qualities of water - 'skin cracks like a pod', 'liquid sun, 'small bones'

Attitudes and Feelings

  • Desperation for water - the reader describes how this would feel
  • Urgency for water and collecting it when the pipe bursts
  • The alboslute delight  that the people get from water - the poet uses souns, sight and feel of water to show thier excitement.
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Two Scavengers in a truck....

The Poet

What it's about

Theme

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Structure

Language

Attitudes and Feelings

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Night of the Scorpion

The Poet

What it's about

Theme

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Structure

Language

Attitudes and Feelings

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Vultures

The Poet

What it's about

Theme

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Structure

Language

Attitudes and Feelings

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What were they like?

The Poet

What it's about

Theme

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Structure

Language

Attitudes and Feelings

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Comments

mathmo94

thanks :)

by the way, aren't different cultures poems for English Language, not Literature?

Al

Great :D

You seriously need to finish all your presentations though.

kieran hextalll

not bad :)

may

I really need help with cluster 1. your presentation is not finished, judging from the first two pages of this presentation I think its really good and it helped me a little; please finish it. 

maryia

thats really good so far can you please complete what were they like and vultures as they are more likely to come in the exam thank youu x

Dylan Brain

why post half a presentation? Really helpful...

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