The poem ‘nothings changed’ carries many similarities with the poem ‘half caste’, Afrika uses a very harsh tone just as half caste uses a harsh tone. ‘Into trouser cuffs, cans trodden on, crunch’. This shows the hateful tone Afrika uses. Afrika uses one syllable words ‘cuffs, cans, crunch’ this makes the tone snappy and hard hitting, this shows that he is angry and is expressing his anger through the tone, while using mono-syllabic words to show this.
The poem ‘nothings changed’ has no references of rhyme to it; consequently it is free verse which means that the poem has no rhyme to it. Free verse gives the effect that the poem is slightly like a story. The point of this is to make the reader seem as if you are following the person in the poem.
The poem ‘half caste has one reference of rhyme in it ‘glow, shadow, tomorrow’ this rhyming makes the poem seem like a well planned argument rather than a rant. This gives the effect that he is reasoning with someone in an argument (his audience).
The rhythm in the poem ‘nothings changed’, starts off with a very slow rhythm to it, it sues mono-syllabic words ‘ small round hard stones click’ this creates a slow harsh bitter mood.
During the 2nd stanza the pace speeds up, he begins to use repetition ‘and my hands, and my skin, and… and…’ this repetition of the word ‘and’ shows his anger rising, consequently causing the poems pace to quicken dramatically.
Once again the rhythm changes, this change occurs in the 4th stanza ‘no sign says it, but we know where we belong’ the rhythm is slower meaning that he is sad.
The rhythm in the poem ‘half caste’ is very constant, it has a steady rhythm to it mainly because the poem is very humorous and harsh all through the poem ‘ yu mean when Picasso mixed red and green, is a half caste canvas’
The poet in the poem ‘half caste’ uses many references to imagery, imagery means when you can see what the poet is trying to describe ‘yu mean when light an shadow mix in de sky is a half caste weather’ this compares having parents of different colours to a natural image of the sky mixing.
‘Nothings changed’ also uses imagery. ‘Name flaring like a flag’ this simile shows the proud and insulting dominance of the white mans inn. The white mans inn is posh it is admirable it is up-market but still it squats , it does not blend in with its surroundings, this new inn, with posh food contrasts sharply with the black peoples inn, with plastic tables and no tissues but to wipe your hands on your worn out jeans. The flag of the white mans inn seems to be taunting the man.
The poets use language to explore their feelings about racism in many interesting and imaginative ways. In ‘half caste’ the poet repetition of the words ‘explain yuself’ this gives a conversational and yet aggressive tone. The poet also uses Creole ‘explain yuself’, by the poet using Creole it shows he is comfortable with both sides of his background.
In the poem ‘nothings changed’ the poet uses alliteration and one syllable words to tell his poem. ‘Cuffs, cans, crunch’ by using mono-syllabic words the poem seems sad, but it also makes it seem snappy and hard hitting. Afrika also uses onomatopoeias ‘click, crunch’. Onomatopoeias are words that sound like the sound they make.
Both of the poems are expressing their hate for racism they have told it in two different perspectives one from each poet. Tatamkhula afrika has a more aggressive view of racism, he despises it. On the other hand john agard has a more conversational attitude to racism he debates about it and is able to laugh the idea of racism off. John agards poem interested me the most, because I was interested to hear about his ideas on racism (half caste).
In conclusion I agree with both poets about their view on racism, racism is for the small minded and it should be stopped.