And Agard was an amazing preformer. The simple language here, which relies on clichés, is all the more shocking in its rueful tone, and makes us wonder, how a piece of cloth could reduce a mass of people to a single identity. Sign up Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with our newsletter, subscription offers and other relevant information. The poem is an important one because it speaks about knowledge and how knowledge itself such as the knowledge of history can be colonised, depending on who is passing this knowledge on to us. John came from Guyana which is situated in the Caribbean. The poem challenges and almost mocks the British education system as what is learnt in England is primarily euro-centric. This type of poetry addresses an institution or a powerful individual who has set in motion a culture that creates problems for individuals.
Nanny the Maroon Lines 22-31 These lines repeat the themes from the last few, but in a much more pronounced way. The essay at first seemed to be a hard one but reading and understanding the poems really opened my eyes to the issues in the present world. As a victim of slavery and empire, Agard knows something of the worst excesses of this act of subscribing to a flag. He went on to study. Checking Out Me History Lines 50-53 The final lines of the poem reflects the first verse in nature, adding on two very important lines, wherein the narrator declares that they are unwilling to accept one side of the story of history, and are searching for themselves the truth behind what they are told in a classroom. His poetry is sophisticated and written for the page so it is literary, and it seeks to find the complexities in issues; yet it is also deliberately immediate and easy to understand on first hearing, it springs from the oral tradition and confidently addresses the source of power but without developing an overly complex argument.
His current book, Ramayana, was shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize. Lines 10-21 The next set of lines reveals that the narrator knows exactly who Toussaint is, and also that he looks up to and respects the historic figure a great deal. And as to the immature kids coming on here and saying 'Yo Nigger, please get an education and actually understand the words you are saying…. The poem begins in an apologetic tone, and the strangeness of his situation is shown by him standing on one leg as he does not feel a complete man. He is using patois, a version of which is spoken by many London teenagers. There are a lot of comparisons to this poem and Ozymandias to the ideas of power. The following video has him do that for 2 minutes and 14 seconds and then there is nothing for 3 minutes, so turn it off when he ends it and come back to this analysis, which I shall now complete and add later.
There's a suggestion that the version of history taught to the poet is not exactly accurate even before you consider that black people have been completely left out. What is it and why? Like the structure, the tone also divides into two. B Why does he say picasso is half caste? I was left thinking how a group of 15 year old students might take it if from certain parts of the world. He loved to listen to cricket commentary on the radio and began making up his own, which led to a love of language. And the speaker in the poem notes that they never learned about such figures, but were only taught of the glory of England instead. Leader of escaped slaves who led Jamaican resistance against the British Lord Nelson, establishing free settlements in Jamaica.
The line could easily be a part of an old cheerful song, and this is the idea — Agard is juxtaposing the nature of what the speaker is learning with the nature of what they are not learning. The emphasis placed on the final noun by the poet alerts us to the main theme of the piece whilst the lack of punctuation throughout allows the piece to remain open and continuous. Various symbols are used in the poem — keen half of mih ear, keen half of mih eye implies a desire to ignore the stereotyping and yet keenly be conscious of it. Liked by Checking out me history is one of the many great poems written by John Agard and the point of the poem is to find out his history not Euro-centric history as Agard is not from there, but from Guyana in the Caribbean. By interspersing the historical with the trivial, the persona might be implying that British history by itself is as relevant to him as a nursery rhyme.
The poem is filled with intentionally misspelled words which, when pronounced as they are spelled, force the reader to almost take on the accent of the true speaker. The second part of the poem is increasingly sarcastic. Agard is a brilliant and entertaining poet who has the audience interested and engaged in his work. Nigger actually means some on who is lazy, idol, non productive basically a lazy individual. Shaka kaSenzangakhone Lines 32-35 For these lines, the histories of English fighters and battles continue. He uses non-standard phonetic spelling written as a word sounds to represent his own accent, and writes about what it is like being black to challenge racist attitudes, especially those which are unthinking.
The poem is about John Agard wanting to learn about his past, as in Europe they only teach white history mainly, and black history is neglected. Give Both these poems are concerned with challenging the status quo: both want change. On another note, I do agree, as you do, with John Agard's poem. This means that his reaction to life and other people is half hearted. The world of nature provides striking examples. It is this sort of violence and racism towards people from other ethnicity backgrounds that will hold you back in life.
Nanny de Maroon is linked with a mountain, fire and rivers. What transgression discover in my inner Indies? John Agard born 21 June 1949 in British Guiana is an Afro-Guyanese playwright, poet and children's writer, now living in Britain. Thanks to Seacole with her courage, unique qualities and boldness. She escaped from slavery with several close friends and fled to Blue Mountain, where she scouted out strategic locations to build communities for escaped slaves. End rhyme is heavily used, emphasised by adapted sections of nursery rhymes: the dish who ran away with the spoon, and Old King Cole, for example. Don't forget the whole Shakespeare experience with Macbeth.
Our children need to be taught something of other identities, something of other cultures, so that mutual understanding can be sought by everyone, so that we can all live as individuals in a multicultural setting. This poem is about Agard going through his history and pointing out that many black history is ignored. Prospect subscribers have full access to all the great content on our website, including our entire archive. But as you no doubt heard on the video clip, he means this to be sung in places as well, as he and the reader get to grips with the idea that what we deem to be history is not necessarily that of the Caribbean man. This also shows that no matter what people think about his use of patois that they might think its disrespectful he is more proud of his country to let this stop his wondeful writing. Nanny chose the location well, however, and the town proved impossible to capture, despite overwhelming numbers odds in favour of the British. Turning people into half-caste is one of the greatest of social predicaments the world faces.