5 Differences between life on a Caribbean island and life in London
6 CULTURE Guyana: Country on the north coast of South America; One of the poorest nations in the Western hemisphere;Gained independence from Britain in 1966.
7 SURFACE MEANINGA man who used to live on a Caribbean island still dreams of this place even now when he lives in London.
8 Island Man Morning and island man wakes up to the sound of blue surf in his headthe steady breaking and wombingwild seabirdsand fishermen pushing out to seathe sun surfacing defiantlyfrom the eastof his small emerald islandhe always comes backgroggily groggilyComes back to sandsof a grey metallic soarto surge of wheelsto dull North Circular roarmuffling mufflinghis crumpled pillow wavesisland man heaves himselfAnother London day
9 Island Man(for a Caribbean island man in London who still wakes up to the sound of the sea)MorningAnd island man wakes upTo the sound of blue surfIn his headThe steady breaking and wombingwild seabirdsand fisherman pushing out to seathe sun surfacing defiantlyfrom the eastof his small emerald islandhe always comes back groggily groggilyClear link with other traditionsThis word has many associations, but the predominant image is one of comfort and securityAlliteration with the letter 's'Note the vibrant coloursvery positive imageRepetition, as if he cannot believe it, or is reluctant to acknowledge
10 Colour contrast, not vibrant but drab Comes back to sandsof a grey metallic soarto surge of wheelsto dull North Circular roadChange of perspective herea busy road around Londonmuffling mufflinghis crumpled pillow wavesisland man heaves himselfAnother London dayGrace NicholsRepetition, as if he cannot believe it, or is reluctant to acknowledgeSuggest comparison of a man heaving himself on to an islandStark last line, physically isolated, with no preposition or verbCapital letters but no punctuation in poem
11 IDEAS, ATTITUDES, FEELINGS Comparing the simple beautiful way of life on a Caribbean island to the noise and rush of a modern cityWhen far away from home some people will over idealise itNever forget where you come fromAttitudes:Island man does not seem to feel at home in London therefore there is a sense of being out of place and not belongingThe opportunities of London are far removed from the beauties of the CaribbeanFeelings:HomesickIdealising the past / previous homeRegretDull repetitive nature of present working life
12 LanguageMetaphorsands / of a grey metallic soar (London as an unpleasant beach)Personification• the sun surfacing defiantly• to dull North Circular roarAlliteration• sun surfacing• Stanza 3 = Sands, soar, surge (like the sounds of the sea)Repetition• groggily groggily• muffling muffling
13 Island ManThere is no punctuation in the poem. Why? What image does the Island man have in his head? How does the poet’s choice of language reflect that image?There are more capital letters on the second part of the poem. Why? Think of the formality of capital letters.
14 Island Man Island: “blue surf” “wild seabirds” “fishermen” “emerald island”London:“grey metallic soar”“to surge of wheels”“dull North Circular roar”“Another London day”
15 The more points you make the higher the grade! Back to exams…The question will name ONE poem, you must choose the otherUse the wording of the question at the beginning and end of EVERY paragraphRelate everything you write to the questionThe more points you make the higher the grade!
16 Sample Exam QuestionHow does “Blessing” and one other poem from this selection, show the importance of culture and cultural background
17 Planning a response to the question on poetry from other cultures When planning an answer to the question on poems from other cultures do not consider one poem and then another and then try to make comparisons in your conclusion. You should be comparing (discussing similarities) and contrasting (considering differences) the poems throughout your essay.This will also help you to ANALYSE the poems rather than simply DESCRIBING them. E.g. You don’t get m(any) marks for saying, ‘there is a metaphor in the first stanza’ but you will get credit for writing, ‘the poet compares her use of language to a flower which shows how she feels it is alive and growing’.
18 Language / Themes/Techniques ‘Blessing’‘Island Man’What is the subject of each poem?Describe the poet’s tone and attitude.How does the poet use rhythm to suit the subject matter?How does each poet bring the environment / place to life?How are the people presented in each poem? (Look at how the poet describes their actions, for example.)How does each poet use imagery?Does each poet use unconventional forms? If so, why? (e.g. lack of punctuation, short line lengths, and unusual layout).
19 ‘Island Man’: Evoking Place Using ‘Island Man’ as an influence, write a postcard to a friend from either:a tropical islanda bustling city centreDescribe the place as you have experienced it. Use experience and / or imagination!