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Halfcast and Unrelated incidents

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'Compare and contrast how other cultures are shown in Half-Caste and Unrelated Incidents'. The poems I am comparing are "Half-Caste", written by John Agard possibly during the twentieth century, due to that being the era Agard moved to England, encountering racism and misunderstanding of other cultures. The other poem is "Unrelated Incidents" written by Tom Leonard in 1969, the date is also shown in his poem by mentioning "BBC" which was created 50 years earlier. Both poems share many similarities such as; they make important points about shared identities as well as individual identity, cultures and the use of phonetics. These poems can also be linked as protest poems, poems that raise and to a degree complain about issues related to their cultural origins. "Explain yuself", a repeated phrase throughout "Half-Caste", portrays that Agard is complaining about our closed minds, and our ignorance to judge people on their appearance. However, the phrase may also mean that we do not express ourselves vividly. Moreover, "yoo scruff", also repeated throughout the stanza of "Unrelated Incidents", portrays that Leonard voices his complaints in insults, a different approach from Agard, in turn making this poem least effective from Agard's, because not many take notice in something to which they are being offended. ...read more.


Nevertheless it could also mean that if you are willing to listen he will explain the other part of his life. Half-Caste is written in both first person, "I'm half-caste", and second person, "Explain yuself". First person gives the reader a first hand experience, so the reader can see where the writer is coming from, with this, a better understanding whereas second person, permits Agard to direct his thoughts and criticisms to the reader which brings the reader into the poem enabling them to think they are having a convosation that will ultimately convince them to listen. The organisation of the poem reflects the title by having, one short first stanza, two long stanzas and another short stanza. This represents that there are two halves of a poem, however, it could also represent personification, as it also gives the imagery of a leg, the first stanza being the knee, the two long stanzas connecting from it and the final short stanza being the ankle. Furthermore, the punctuation is both Standard English, "I'm sure you'll understand", and non standard, "wid de whole of yu eye". This technique is especially effective for this poem as it also reflects the overall meaning by further showing that writing and punctuation is also half-caste because different cultures write things differently compared to another- in this case, English. ...read more.


The poem is in first, second and third person, this affects the impact of the poem by using a variety of techniques; it isn't the same as Half-Caste because Leonard includes other people's opinions. The poem is in one stanza and shaped like a teleprompter, however the poem also gives the image of a nail being hammered because the lines in the stanza are short. Leonard perhaps structured it this way to make his point quick which is shown his words as they are displayed as angry. It's different from Half-Caste because Half-Caste has four stanzas and it uses different and subtle imagery, possibly due to the poem saying more. Unrelated Incidents doesn't use any formal language and is insulting, where as "Half-Caste" uses Standard English and non standard as well as being polite. "trooth wia" is phonetic language used in Unrelated Incidents. Phonetic language is used in both poems because it reflects the poet's culture by displaying how they talk further representing their background, because Leonard comes across aggressive I can infer that his culture is defensive and vigilant. . Half-Caste is the most effective poem because Agard uses a vast majority of techniques and is easy to understand, whereas Leonard's poem is completely wrapped in phonetics and very abstruse, nevertheless, both poems are similar as they both share the same theme. ...read more.

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