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comparing poets, benjamin zephaniah and WB Yeats

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By Zahra Wais Benjamin Zephaniah's poem 'No problem' is about how he was subjected to racism when he was in England it's about his experience in school and how the teachers and everyone else treated him a certain way just because of the colour of his skin. He talks in Caribbean English and not in Standard English so that it appeals to black people and not put them off. It also sounds natural because it's the way he speaks. However the poem by WB Yeats- 'An Irishman Foresees his death' is a poem in the memory of one of his friends, a pilot who he admired, when reading this poem it's almost like WB Yeats is the pilot and he's writing about himself or that he has experienced this sense of feeling of being free when flying and happy. The poem 'No problem' by Zephaniah, tells us about how he has experienced racism but he hold no grudge "I have no chips on me shoulders" line 20, he was always the butt of the joke "But I bear de brunt". ...read more.


'Mother country get it right'-this is a command rather then a request. The Mother country is England and when Zephaniah and his family came from the Caribbean they thought they would be welcomed after keeping there end of the bargain by responding to the empire to fight along side England, but they weren't. 'An juss fe de record, Sum of me best friends are white.'- here is trying to be humorous because usually when a someone has just made a racist comment they usually go 'sum of me friends are black' so he has reversed what is usually said. But it can also be argued that in this whole poem he has generalised all white people to be racist to black people. The poem 'An Irishman Foresees his death' is an acknowledgement to the memory of Major Robert Gregory, the son of his close friend Lady Augusta Gregory. I think the way Yeats writes the poem is that Gregory knew that he would not return from the war. ...read more.


"I balanced all, brought all to mind, The years to come seemed waste of breath, A waste of breath the years behind In balance with this life, this death." To me the pilot is saying that he looked back at his life and into his future and what he saw seemed empty hopeless " a waste of breath". So why not do something that he really enjoyed ("a lonely impulse of delight"). The poem I liked was by WB Yeats 'An Irishman foresees his death', I just felt more pulled by it, it stands out more as Major Gregory didn't actually write it, like poems are written by the poet. It was in memory of him and written by his friend. Major Gregory died in the air war against Germany in the world war one. And this poem is about home he enjoyed flying, and you can really feel the atmosphere of this. It is a thoughtful poem because he explores his thoughts about dying in the war and is aware of this. ...read more.

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