Analysis of Island Man
Millie Manning 10.1
Island man is a poem by Caribbean poet Grace Nichols. The poem tells the story of a Caribbean man who wakes up every day in London, dreaming he is in the Caribbean. The poem is written in 3 main stanzas, with the final line being separate to the 3. There is no definite rhyme except for the occasional couplet for example ‘of grey metallic soar’ followed by ‘to dull north circular roar’. This occasional rhyme helps the poem become more typical of the poetic style and allows the poem to be more easily read. The poet writes in a laid back manner, with no use of punctuation which allows the poem to flow evenly and represents how the sea and dreams flow. Enjambment is used in the way some lines run into others and finish on different lines to which they started. This makes the poem relaxed and easy to read. The poet writes as if she knows what it is like to feel homesick, as imagining a place is not an easy thing to do if you have no experience of it. This also makes the poem more personal and relatable and allows us to really imagine what it is like to come from a bright island to an alien, dull city halfway across the world. The irregular length of each poetic line is a representation of the sea and the uneven lapping of waves, this allows the reader to understand the themes of the poem and imagine themselves near the sea. The simple language that is used shows the man is not fully awake during the poem and is still in the simple land of sleep and dream. The poet uses many poetic skills to get across the ideas of dreaming and longing for a faraway place. One of the first skills Grace Nicholls uses is the use of the senses in the line ‘the sound of blue surf’; this helps the reader imagine the sound of the sea and the sight of the sea in their heads. The poet personifies the line ‘sun surfacing defiantly’. This allows us to see the sun as a person rising every day in the Caribbean to shine brightly over everyone. This line...
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