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In 'Limbo', by Edward Brathwaite, I feel that there are numerous ways to look at the story.

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Introduction

Limbo In 'Limbo', by Edward Brathwaite, I feel that there are numerous ways to look at the story. One idea is that the poem is a journey, most likely on a slave ship. We know this due to the references like "and the dark deck is slavery". If you were onboard a slave ship, and you were a slave, you would be placed underneath, on the lowest deck... with no lights or window. This lets in very little light, creating the dark. I recognize we are on a ship due to a lot of aspects. We know there is a boat, due to lines eleven and sixteen. "And the ship like it ready", "long dark deck and the water surrounding me". I think the poet has pointed out this out to let readers know this is a journey. In line 40, the poet mentions "sun coming up". I believe this to be the end of the person's journey because - it is near the end of the poem, and it could be symbolized to show that he is coming out of the dark journey. ...read more.

Middle

The "drummer is calling me" would also relate, it could mean people are cheering him on and that there is a general good atmosphere, like found at a party or celebration. Like I mentioned before, I believe that the limbo dance is a way to relive the person from his life... 'become one with the stick' as you might say. The "sun coming up" and "up up up" parts would tell us the limbo dancer is coming out of limbo and that he has made it. However, if we take both these ideas and merge them into one, we come out with another story. Slaves, on a slave ship, but doing the limbo dance. If this was so then the poet would be trying to tell the reader that the only way to actively relieve themselves, and/or have a bit of fun (if you can on a slave ship) is through doing the limbo dance. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think the poet has done this to basically sum up the poem, and he has based the poem on these lines. These lines are the punch lines. With them we can see basically what the person goes through, in simple format with out knowing the exact details. The refrain is easy to remember, this has the effect that we keep in in our minds - the poet keeps reminding us that he is always in limbo (the state of nothingness AND/OR a limbo dance) The poem is quite serious as it deals with society and culture. At the end of the day, and after careful studying, I find that the point Brathwaite is trying to make is that, even though the people are trapped on the ships, they must find a way to get out of the state of limbo which they probably encounter most of the time. This way out is through a Limbo dance. ...read more.

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