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Poetry Analysis of Limbo, Blessing and Half CasteI have chosen four different poems of which come from varying culturalbackgrounds and have a moral.

I will now explain how the writers present their ideas and give thereaders an insight into different cultures.

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Limbo is a poem, which shows us the feelings of slaves on slave shipswritten by Edward Kamau. This poem tells the story of slavery in arhyming, rhythmic dance. It is ambitious and complex. There are twonarratives running in parallel, which are, the actions of the dance,andthe history of the people, which is being enacted.

The poem shows a lot of repetition of phrases such as ‘Limbo Limbolike me, Limbo Limbo like me’. This expresses that the phrase isdominant enough to be said twice.

The poem has a very strong beat, suggesting the dance describes: wherethe word limbo appears as a complete line, it should be spoken slowly,the first syllable extended and both syllables stressed: Lim-bo.

The writer shows fluent use of rhythm even by using varied length oflines, this makes the reader go along with the movement of both thepoem and the storyline in general, it also makes it more involving tothe reader.

Limbo is a poem of positions as the writer uses such language to breakdown the moment in the poem, one example of this is when he uses thewords ‘down down down’. Speaking opposite to this phrase the writerthen re-enforces the poem by using the words ‘up up up’ which elevatesthe moment of the poem.

The poem interests the reader as the chorus is written in italics.While the italics give the refrain (chorus) which reminds us of thedance, the re…

…on” (peoplegathering for worship).

The water is a source of other metaphors – fortune is seen as a “rush”(like water rushing out of the burst pipe), and the sound of the flowis matched by that of the people who seek it – their tongues are a”roar”, like the gushing water. Most tellingly of all, water islikened to “silver” which “crashes to the ground”.

The poem is written in unrhymed lines, mostly brief, some of which runon, while others are end-stopped, creating an effect of naturalspeech. The poet writes lists for the people (“man woman/child”) andthe vessels they bring (“…with pots/brass, copper,aluminium,/plastic buckets”). The poem appeals to the reader’s senses,with references to the dripping noise of water (as if the hearer iswaiting for there to be enough to drink) and the flashing sunlight.

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