Poems of the Decade Revision Notes


Eat Me - Patience Agbabi 

Centred around the theme of a husband that force feeds his wife. He is a feeder who dominates his wife but the poem concludes with her rolling over him on their bed and killing him by suffocation.


The poem has a very strong structure made up of 10 tercets (stanzas of 3 lines). There is consistent use of half rhyme which suggests uncertainty in her life.

•It is an ‘audacious dramatic monologue’

•There are sound patterns within the poem such as the repetition of the ‘c’ sound “called chubby cuddly”. This creates emphasis on this triple and allows the reader to understand that the husband

•There is also assonance of the ‘o’ sound in the 8th tercet, “poured olive oil down my throat” creating the sound of choking.

Language Techniques

•The concerns of the poem are not confined solely to sexual politics but through language we can interpret some the language that describes the woman’s body: “forbidden fruit”, “breadfruit”, “desert island”, “globe”, “tidal wave” as a post-colonial viewpoint in which the colonial authority – identified with he male protagonist – is ultimately overwhelmed by the power of the former colony

•Narrative voice – alliteration, assonance and repetition combine to convey a cloying sensuousness which mirrors the excess described.


•Melancholy and submissive. She could never tell anyone how she truly felt bout her situation – Provoke great sympathy from the reader as we see that she has been affected not only physically but mentally.

•The personal pronouns - final few tercets highlight the change in tone as the woman gains more control over the situation and gets her own back on the man who force fed her for his own enjoyment.

Chainsaw Versus the Pampas Grass

Idea of masculinity versus femininity. Theme is through the use of personification. Chainsaw personified in order to portray stereotypical aspects of masculinity.

•Inability to refuse a challenge – When offered the can / it knocked back a quarter-pint of engine oil”,  “knocked back” implying a grudging desire to complete.

•Violent temper –“No gearing up or getting to speed, just an instant rage”, highlights how the chainsaw (and, by extension, stereotypical men) will very quickly unleash pent up anger (which is not often expressed until it reaches extremes – another typically masculine feature).

•Sibilance (repetition of ‘s’ sounds) and assonance (repetition of vowel sounds) create an impression of hissing and seething (e.g. “The seamless urge to persist was as far as it got.”).

•Assonance when describing the pampas grass implies a lack of substance (e.g. “ludicrous feathers and plumes”).

•Hard and plosive consonants create a sense of anger and aggression (e.g. “back to the socket and flicked the switch”).

Material - Ros Barber 

Changing role of a mother, contrast her mother how she looks after her children now. Monologue. 


9 stanzas of 8 lines each. Free Verse.

•Alternate line rhyme - second stanza, ‘lace’ and ‘face’ - suggesting although some things have changed, there are still some similarities.




i love you