"Checking Out Me History" and "Medusa" poem comparison

Topics: Poetry, Poetic form, Metaphor Pages: 3 (1008 words) Published: September 25, 2013
John Agard’s ‘Checking out me history’ is written in dialectical non-standard English, where he has tried to input the natural sounds and phrases of a Caribbean dialect. This is important because one of the major themes of the poem is that of his personal identity; this use of language really highlights his different background and puts emphasis on his differences. His use of repetition, especially of the phrase “dem tell me” gives a sense of repetition and exaggerates the amount of things he was told which he didn’t want to be told about because it isn’t his history. End rhyme is also heavily used where he has strong rhyme in some of the last words in lines, it is emphasised by sections of nursery rhymes; for example it says “de dish ran away with de spoon” and before that was said, the word “moon” was used which rhymes with spoon very strongly. The sections on individual black historical figures have stronger imagery, with use of nature metaphors for great effect. Toussaint L'Overture is a "thorn" and a "beacon". Nanny de Maroon is linked with a mountain, fire and rivers. Mary Seacole is described in as a "healing star" and a "yellow sunrise" to the patients she treats. All three are linked with light, a beacon, fire-woman and a star; suggesting that they play metaphorical roles; maybe he is using this as a metaphor in itself, illuminating the poet's true historical identity. In the third stanza John Agard uses the nursery rhyme of Dick Whittington, this nursery rhyme is very white British and therefore makes it show the oppressive side of things, relating to the discrimination and force used by the first class (at that time) white citizens. The fourth stanza has a slower pace, this allows the reader to easily keep up with everything that is being said and notice a serious tone; this makes you think about it as you wonder why there is a change in pace, tone and structure. It also has a fluent rhythm so that it seems almost endlessly from line to line and...
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