Method used in Limbo.

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What methods are used in ‘Limbo’? 

Limbo, by Edward Kamau Brathwaite, is a poem about slavery. In this essay I am going to be looking at the different methods that are used in the poem.

Firstly, the layout of the poem. It is split into lots of short stanzas with some lines only containing one word. This is so that it keeps the rhythm. Limbo is a dance and this meaning of the word is shown through the layout.

There is also a lot of dactyls. These are one stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables. ‘over me’, ‘under me’, ‘calling me’ etc. these add to the rhythm. The rhythm however is broken in the last line. This could show the end of the dance, the end of the poem or the end of the slavery.

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There is no punctuation in the poem. This is because the rhythm which you read it to forces you to pause in the correct places anyway so there is no need for it. There is a lot of repetition in the poem, this could be for a number of reasons. It could be like a chorus in a song which repeats a number of times. It could show how slavery was repeated until it stopped finally. Or it could be to emphasise the points, for example ‘stick is the whip’. This could be to emphasise how they are being hit ...

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