Poems from other Cultures

All the poems you need for the english language GCSE. 

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  • Created by: Jade
  • Created on: 09-05-11 20:53

This Room - Imitaz Dharker

  • Quite puzzling poem

Main theme: Imtiaz Dharker sees rooms and furniture as possibly limiting or imprisoning one, but when change comes, it as if the room “is breaking out of itself”. There are so many different ways to leave a room.. will you take the convectional easy route?.. or will you take a risk?

Language: Full of metaphors. We may say that we are all over the place, and Dharker depicts this literally, as well - she cannot find her feet (a common metaphor for gaining a sense of purpose or certainty) and realizes that her hands are not even in the same room - and have taken on a life of their own, applauding from somewhere else.

Structure: succesion of vivid images. 

Compare with...Love after Love (change and personal growth)

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Island Man - Grace Nichols

Main Theme: it is about a man from the Caribbean, who lives in London but always thinks of his home. - challenges you to think where home really is...

Language: uses the effects of sound throughout the poem. Few rhymes and repititions. 

Structure: free verse with a loose sequence of vivid images. 

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Love after Love - Derek Walcott

  • self discovery

Main Theme: writes about how people spend years assuming an identity, however never find out who you actually are.

Language: Written in the 2nd person. Full of imperative verbs. Religious imagery - "giving of bread and wine"

Structure: (firsts stanza) Starts looking into the future of a great happiness. (second stanza) you have to fit into other peoples ideas. (third stanza) review on life.

Finishes as a happy poem, not at a time of loss, but as a time of recovery and fulfillment. 

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Half-Caste - John Agard

  • develops a simple idea.

Main Theme: Questioning the importance of race and the poets views on racial discrimination of the word 'half-caste'

Language: Caribbean dialect. Colloquial, written as imperatives as if you were talking to someone. 

Structure: the structure is related to the message of the poem - Agard uses non-standard english. 

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Blessing - Imtiaz Dharker

Main Theme: water - so essential to life - come to be seen by people in hot , dry country as supremely precious, a divine gift - a blessing.

Language: 1 main metaphor - the giving of water as a “blessing” from a "kindly god”. The religious metaphor is repeated, as the bursting of the pipe becomes a “rush of fortune”, and the people who come to claim the water are described as a “congregation” (people gathering for worship).

Structure: unrhymed lines. effect of natural speech. 

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Search for my tongue - Sujata Bhatt

Main Theme: The difficulty of having two tongues (identities). Personal and culteral identity.

Language: English wrapped around the Gujerati. The Dream in the core of the poem, representing the centre of the identity within the poet. The tongue is written as a metaphorical flower, this image grows throughout the poem. "blossoms out of my mouth"

Structure: Two sections of English around the Gujerati dream, for readers who do not know Gujerati, Bhatt has written phonetical language above. 

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Unrelated Incidents - Tom Leonard

Main Theme: Explores class, nationality and education by the way you speak.

Language: Non-Standard English. In the transcription on how a Glaswegian might speak. "trooth" <-- seen 3 times and also another time as "troo", this shows that the viewers/listeners of the news believe the speaker with the 'BBC' accent. Leonard suggests that people would misjudge a working man with a Glaswegian accent.

Structure: Written as an auto cue for a news reader.  

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Not my Business - Niyi Osundare

Main Theme: 'evil will triumph if good men do nothing' Shared responsibility. 

Language: "yam" - stable food (stable life) - nothing to worry about. 

Structure: Clear Structure, we are told the time of each of the episodes and what happened, followed by the refrain:

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