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Exploring Diverse Cultures.

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Exploring Diverse Cultures `Diverse Cultures' are the study of other cultures and opinions of major issues from different origins and ethnic backgrounds. I will examine different points of view of various poets from diverse cultures and how they express cultural ideas in their poems. I have chosen to study three poems, which I researched, with different ideas and cultures. These poems are by Benjamin Zephaniah, Linton Kwesi Johnson and Robert Lowell. The poem by Zephaniah that I have chosen to study is called "Kill Them before Ramadan". I have chosen it because it made me think and I feel that it is quite appropriate to write about it at this time with the Iraq issue brewing again. Zephaniah is a black British poet, whose family originated from Jamaica. He feels that he has strong Jamaican roots and he often reflects this in his poetry by his use of Jamaican dialect and oral style. However, he also sometimes writes in formal English, showing his ability to switch between the two for maximum effect in his poetry. Zephaniah's poetry is meant to be read aloud and holds his viewpoints of the world. He expresses himself in his poems and tries to give the reader his views. His views tend to be those of the minority, and he tries to make you think about his subject matter. The second poem that I have chosen to study is called "Rage", written by Kwesi Johnson. Linton Kwesi Johnson was born in Jamaica and came to England when he was about 11 years old. Like Zephaniah he uses an oral style and can use both Jamaican and formal English dialects. His poems tend to be about racial oppression and prejudice. I have chosen this poem because I feel that it really addresses race issues and opens doors into the mind of a minority race. Robert Lowell was a white American poet from a wealthy background. ...read more.


racism and prejudice in Britain. I have chosen to study his poem "Rage". The poem begins: "Imprisoned in memory of the whip's sting," This stanza implies that a person has been beaten, and that they are forever stuck with the memory of the pain and suffering they endured. It is likely that as the poem is written by Kwesi Johnson, who tends to write about racism, that they person in the poem was beaten by a racist. He describes the pain: "tear in the flesh and the fire burning within," The phrase stretches over two stanzas, a technique that is called enjambment and Kwesi Johnson uses this to help the poem flow. He describes how the whip damaged the skin, and how the pain was like fire inside the body, giving the reader a graphic impression of the event. This helps the reader to both understand the awfulness of the attack, and place the reader "into" the poem, helping them to understand the underlying meaning of the poem. He uses an interesting paradox: "his eyes sing pain silently" By using it, he describes the look in the man's eyes, one of pain. Eyes can't "sing", they are silent, but the way they show the pain may be so vivid that it is almost as if they are singing it out loud for all to hear. Kwesi Johnson continues: "His hatred created swift and sweetly" This shows how easy it is to create anger and hate. The man may well have been a good member of society, but one incident has changed him forever. The next two lines of the stanza read: "he waits with rage clenched tightly in a fist." These lines show how his rage is contained in his hands, ready to be released on whomever may incense him again. He continues with: "Soon some white one will stroll by, and strike he will to smash the prison wall of his passion and let his stifled rage run free." ...read more.


might not have wanted a monument because he could have believed that the blacks should stay as slaves, and that his son was wrong to fight amongst them. This is backed up by the fact that Shaw's body was "thrown" like some rubbish. However, I believe that the interpretation is that Shaw's father was proud of his son. Those who died while in battle were allowed to have their bodies sent to their families for their funeral but Shaw's father probably decided against this as he thought that a soldier's most appropriate burial place is was the ground on which they had fallen. He continues: "There are no statues for the last war here; on Boylston Street, a commercial photograph shows Hiroshima boiling" Lowell feels that American values have deteriorated so much that they cannot even commemorate their war dead. They use pictures of death and destruction to advertise goods and they are obsessed with money. Lowell writes: "When I crouch to my television set" He is bending down to the television, he is a slave to its programmes and it is almost as if he is crouching down to worship it. The penultimate stanza reads: "Colonel Shaw is riding on his bubble, he waits for the bless�d break." Colonel Shaw wants to be removed from this world of commercialism and money, he is waiting for the almost sacred break allowing him to be free. He is still waiting because his statue still stands, torturing him and making him see the world for which he. The last two lines read: "a savage servility slides by on grease." This refers to the slavery of the people to money, and profit. Colonel Shaw fought in vain for the freedom of the peoples, for we have found another master, commercialism. Although the three poems differ in style and content, the meanings of them all are the same. They are all writing about ethnic minority groups and how they are looked upon and how this leads to racism. ...read more.

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