Mitul Patel 5P
Some of the poets in the two clusters show feelings of anger and injustice. Compare the way John Agard, Tom Leonard and one other poet express such feelings. Think about the use of rhythm/rhyme, imagery (metaphor/simile), sounds, presentation, use of dialect and humour.
Each of the authors uses different methods to display their anger or annoyance at something. In “What were they like?” which is about the Vietnam War involving the communist north and capitalist south. The poem is written unlike most other poems as if she author was giving an interview with one of the people affected by the war. Each of the questions is about the Vietnamese people’s traditions, culture and their livelihood and each one is answered with a bitter answer.
The answer to the first question is about how the war turned the Vietnamese people bitter or left them dead and that it left them with no memory of their past. This is shown where it is written “Their light hearts turned to stone” and “It is not remembered whether in gardens stone lanterns illuminated pleasant ways” The second answer is about the birth of children as it says “to delight in blossom” linking the birth of a child to a sprout of a new plant. It then says “but after the children were killed there were no more buds” where it is referring the children as buds because they were still so young and hadn’t grown up yet just like the plants buds.
This is a preview of the whole essay
The third answer where it says “laughter is bitter to the burned mouth” is referring to the napalm which was dropped that burned through flesh causing extreme pain and is asking how someone could laugh at that. In the fourth answer the person answering the questions says “A dream ago, perhaps Ornament is for joy” where the person is saying that the Vietnamese people have nothing to be joyous about anymore because of what’s happened in Vietnam.
Then it says “All the bones were charred” as to say that even the memory of the people who died was burned. When asked in the fifth question about an epic poem the person replies about how before the people were peaceful and everything was fine, then the bombs came and smashed that harmony. Finally the answer to the sixth and final question it says “There is an echo yet of their speech which was like a song. It was reported that their singing resembled the flight of moths in moonlight. Who can say? It is silent now.” Here it saying that the people of Vietnam only left an echo which may be counted as singing and that is all that there is left because they are all gone.
The poem is comparing two different periods in it before the war when everything was peaceful and after the war when everything was left in ruins. Metaphors such as “their light hearts turned to stone” and “When bombs smashed those mirrors” Also “their singing resembled the flight of moths in moonlight is a simile and “moths on moonlight” is an example of alliteration. Words like scream and smashed are also examples of onomatopoeia and the person answering the questions don’t answer with humour but with sarcasm as he or she is clearly annoyed at what has happened and maybe towards the questioner.
The poem “Unrelated Incidents” is a poem in protest to the “BBC accent” as he sees it as the wrong way to speak and has written a poem in a Glaswegian accent and talks about his way being the right way to speak. Each line of the poem is only two or three syllables long and this is to show the auto cues used by newsreaders. The author has also spelt many of the words wrong because he is trying to emphasize his anger as what happens when people get angry and try to say lots of things at once but just get muddled up. The poem is very fast and although many of the words are spelt wrong it is easy to read and grasp showing again that the author is saying you don’t need perfect English and a “BBC accent” to be a newsreader. This poem unlike “What were they like?” and “Half Caste” is full of anger that has burst giving the poem no real structure or rhythm but a unique style of writing that helps you remember it.
The poem “Half-Caste” is much more relaxed than “Unrelated Incidents” because the author is being sarcastic and poking fun at the idea of people calling someone a half-caste. He says things like “When yu say half-caste yu mean when Picasso mix red an green is a half-caste canvas” which is a metaphor and “Ah listening to yu wid de keen half of mih ear” saying that he should only listen with half a ear of that Picasso painted only half a canvas. The poem is full of uneven sentences with some much longer than others and none rhyme until the end where the words understand and hand, dream and dream along with shadow and tomorrow rhyme. This helps build up the ending where he says “but yu must come back tomorrow wid de whole of yu eye an de whole of yu ear an de whole of yu mind an I will tell yu de other half of my story” as if this poem is only half of it and that the writer has more to say but has left you to think about it.