What some of the poems are about.

  • Created by: lauren
  • Created on: 07-11-10 14:31

Two scavengers in a truck.


  • Contrast between 2 sets of people
  • Garbage men 'looking down' because the garbage truck is taller than the car. Ironic message? it is expected the rich couple to be 'looking down' on the poor Garbage men.
  • Poem wrote in the present tense gives a sense of imediacy as if the poem is happening now.
  • uses repetition in the poem for example 'elegant' and 'scavengers'
  • ideas of the poem are to do with extreme divisions between rich and poor.
  • "2 Scavs up since 4am grungy from their route" we are encouraged to sympathise the scavs who work anti-social hours.
  • "Cool couple" alliteration, not described in as much detail as the Scavs as if the poet is less interested in them.
  • "As if anything at all was possible between them" using "as if" tells us that the writer is imaging the rich and the poor could be friends. The democracy hasn't succeeded because the rich and poor is still impossible.

Comparing Poems :

  • 2 scavs & blessing- both poems have free structure and describe the lives of ordinary people.

Layout of the poem :

  • dumps between two types of people? impact of seperate society? shows the differences between the two? visual representation of vehicles at the lights.

Techniques :

  • "casually coifed" alliteration
  • "with grey iron hair" metaphor
  • "as from a great difference" simile
  • "as if they" simile
  • "across the small gulf" metaphor


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Nothing's changed


  • Contrast between black and white
  • thinks about the poverty around especially the working mens cafe nearby where people eat without plates from plastic table tops. This makes him reflect that despite the changing political situation there are still between black and white people. The writer feels nothing has really changed.
  • The deep anger makes him want to destroy the restaurant- to smash the glass with a stone or a bomb.
  • Poem wrote in the present tense although he is recalling a past experience
  • "i press my nose to the clear poures" as if the reader can see things from the writers point of view.

Emotion :

  • Angrilly- to show the poets attitude to the fact that nothing has changed? or in a resigned way, as if he knows that it's too much to hope that things change.

Techniques :

  • "Small round hard stones click" onomatapia
  • "district six" apartheid (seperate skin) whites only! before 1966 it was mixed race.
  • "And my hands, and my skin..." Repitition to show anger. list of body parts.
  • Confidence --> "Brash with glass" invisible barrier between black and white people.

Black v White

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Island man


  • Contrast between a tropical island and london.
  • Dreams about living on and island that he used to live on in the past and had to move back over to London, but refuses to forget his hometown.
  • "Morning"- Describing a new day and telling the reader that its morning.
  • "island man" DOUBLE MEANINGS- i.e both jamaica and the UK are islands, therefore a comparison is being set up.
  • "And Wombing" Rhythm sounds like waves on the shore, Made up word- womb- peaceful inside the mothers womb.
  • "fishermen pushing out to sea" lots of 's' sounds suggesting the sound of the sea.
  • "The sun surfacing defiently"- like the island man refuses to forget his hometown.
  • "Of his small emerald Island"- powerful description gem-like.
  • "Groggily Groggily"- Repetition suggests waves- doesn't want to wake up.
  • "Comes back to sands" Pun/ play on words- Sound/ Sands
  • "Of grey metallic soar"- city vocab- we expect Roar  but uses soar- suggest seabirds- mixing up images- linked man of mixed nationalities.
  • "To surge of wheels"- mixing up images again.
  • "To dull North circular Roar"- Soar and roar rhyme- Named part of London.
  • "Muffling Muffling" repetition- sea.
  • "Island man heaves himself" effort leaving the dream-he can never leave the past.
  • "Another London day"- concrete line- the reality of London- the sea has been left behind.

Techniques :

  • "Muffling Muffling"- Repetition
  • "Comes back to sands"- Pun/ play on words
  • "Small emerald Island"- powerful Metaphor


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  • Contrast between captivity and freedom.
  • On a ship being transported across the sea and not knowing where and of the victims are going, with the hope of freedom at the end of it all. The music keeps them going along the way.
  • "Limbo"- Being held in 'nothingness' as the narrator is, on the slave ship.
  • "And limbo stick is the silence in front of me"- No hope for the future.
  • "limbo  limbo like me. limbo limbo like me"- italics like another voice calling from within- a call for companionship.
  • "long dark night and the silence is over me"- hopeless imagery.
  • "limbo limbo like me"- His memories keep butting through.
  • "Stick hit sound"- Ambiguous- could be the one getting hit.
  • "And the Ship like it ready"- ship almost ready to transport victims to the middle of nowhere.
  • "long dark deck and the water surrounding me"- "long dark deck and the silence is over me"- imagery of him being kept below the decks, surrounded, trapped.
  • "stick is whip     and the dark deck is slavery"-"stick is whip     and the dark deck is slavery"- repetition happens throughout (1)- a remeinder of the 'sound of his native land'.
  • "drum stick knock"- just 2 examples of the harsh sounds throughout.
  • "And the darkness is over me"- he is kept down.
  • "Knees spread wide"- in irons- himiliating postion (going under the limbo stick in the dance).
  • "And the dark ground is under me"- the dark ground suggests that its like he is back home.
  • "Down     Down     Down"- go down into dispair to > then come back up *
  • "And the Drummer is calling me"- Drummer of the dance, or the one keeping time on the oars.
  • "Sun coming up      and the drummers are praising me     out of the dark     and the dumb gods are raising me.- Praising and raising rhyme adds an optimistic feeling.
  • "Up     Up     Up"- * rebirth, like the sun.
  • "And the music is saving me"- the music that they have been making has kept the going through the time that they have been trapped on the slave ship.
  • "Hot     Slow     Step"- ambiguous again- could be part of the Limbo dance or the hard work of the slave.

Techniques :

  • "Limbo      Limbo like me"  repitition.
  • "and the dark deck is slavery" Metaphor


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