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Compare the cultural backgrounds and the style of language these three black poets use to describe their experiences. They are: Maya Angelou-"Still I rise", Benjamin Zephaniah- "Miss World" and Grace Nichols-"Sugar Cane" through their poems.

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Introduction

By a close analysis of language, show how the poets convey their cultural heritage and experiences through their poems. This essay will compare the cultural backgrounds and the style of language these three black poets use to describe their experiences. They are: Maya Angelou-"Still I rise", Benjamin Zephaniah- "Miss World" and Grace Nichols-"Sugar Cane" through their poems. These three poems were written by black poets. They all have a theme of standing up for yourself, fighting for your rights and being strong and overcoming pain and suffering. "Sugar Cane" is a poem about the life of a sugar cane that is grown and harvested. The poet personifies the sugar cane so the reader can associate more with the sugar cane, and there is a compelling desire for the reader to want to read the poem. "Miss World" is about a girl who is beautiful inside and does not want to be judged like an object in a show. The poem is written like a rap and so is inviting to younger people. This poem teaches that appearances are not important. ...read more.

Middle

In "Miss World" the poet also uses words that rhyme if the reader is reading in a West Indian accent, "best for self-defence" "cause no grievance". Ordinarily these would not rhyme, so the reader would know at once by reading this or "de" (the) or "day"(they) that this poem is written in a dialect. In "Still I Rise" the poet always speaks in correct English and shows that she is well educated and is articulate. She uses phrases like "Leaving behind nights of terror and fear, into a daybreak that's wondrously clear". Sugar Cane is grown in many countries where black people live, and so most of them work to harvest the sugar cane. Sugar Cane grows through life and becomes old, "His colour is the aura of jaundice when he ripe". This could mean that the black slaves are unhealthy as a product of mistreatment. After sugar cane is possibly ageing, he then dies when "the hurricane strike smashing him to pieces" whether it is the hurricane killing him, or the farmers harvesting with machetes, "either way he can't survive". ...read more.

Conclusion

In "Still I Rise", the poet describes a painful life, "out of the huts of history's shame, I rise, up from a past that's rooted in pain, I rise" this refers to the extreme pain and suffering this race went through. The poet talks about how she will overcome everything that is thrown at her and she will prevail. "You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still like air, I'll rise" The poet mentions power over the sugar cane, suggesting the slavery of the black race, "it is us who weed him in the earth in the first place" "we feel the need to strangle the life out of him". These lines show that the farmers have power over whether sugar cane lives or dies. Similarly, the farmers have power over whether their slaves live or die. In "Miss World" the poet mentions slavery and that his sister does not want to be viewed like a slave at a slave market and give the judges power over her life, "day judge your lifetime by a quick interview". ...read more.

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