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Comparing Poems

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Comparing Poems Tommy Patton Identity is different for every person, it is what separates us all and makes us unique. Identity can be split into many categories. In the poem 'Nothing's Changed', segregation is used to show us the poets feelings whereas 'Half-Caste' is mainly focused on racial equality. Each of the poets structure their poems in ways that express their feelings and ideas about identity; the differences in each vary. 'Half-Caste' consists of 4 stanzas, written with a lack of punctuation and in patois dialect that allows the reader the freedom to express the poem in a way that they wish. Also, the haphazard, informal way that the poem is written suggests it should be read aloud. This reflects John Agard's strive for freedom. The phrase, 'Explain yuself/wha yu mean/when yu say half-caste', is a refrain. This refrain is repeated throughout the poem to question the reader. It is an aggressive confrontation between the reader and the poet that elicits an answer from the reader. ...read more.


An example of this language is: 'Ah listening to yu wid de keen/half of mih ear...why I offer yu half-a-hand'. This gives the reader the representation of a ridiculous happening, which is disrespectful to the opposing person. 'Nothing's Changed' also shares a similar mood of anger and frustration. The poet writes: 'and the skin about my bones/and the soft labouring of my lungs, /and the hot, white, inwards turning/anger of my eyes.' This includes within it repetition, powerful, angry words and references to body parts that identify the person's feeling of a painful anger. The poets use language to reveal their feelings about identity in both similar and different ways. They both project anger and confusion about the attitude of today's society knowing that equality is not present. In 'Nothing's Changed' the poet writes: 'Hands burn/for a stone, a bomb, /to shiver down the glass. / Nothing's Changed.' This begins with a metaphor; 'Hands burn' which shows the person is feeling angry. The words 'a bomb,/to shiver down the glass.' ...read more.


An example of this is when it says 'whites only inn/No sign says it is:/but we know where we belong.' This is saying that the restaurant is only for rich, white people even though he knows there isn't a sign saying so (He knows that if he goes in he will be laughed at). Both poems are similar also because they are based on black people being discriminated against by white. Both of these poems were very interesting and presented me with a question, which was how could I break down the barriers people have to make them better people? The poem I favoured was 'Nothing's Changed' because it was easier to picture as a story and I feel that the majority of people have felt like an outsider at least once in their life. 'Half-Caste' did bring a strong point across but I believe that it was brought across in a bizarre and confusing way whereas 'Nothing's Changed ' was easier to relate to from a past event. ...read more.

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    How are anger and frustration presented in 'Nothing's Changed' and 'Half-Caste'?

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