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Not My Business Essay Guide

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Not My Business Essay Guide

  1. 1. Question: Choose a poem which addresses the theme of shared social responsibility. Discuss the techniques the poet uses to highlight his/her central concern.<br />Sample Essay Plan<br />Introduction:<br />Niyi Osundare, a Nigerian poet, addresses the idea of shared responsibility in his poem ‘Not My Business’. He uses structure, personification, simile, metaphor and powerful verbs to highlight his central concern, which is that we are all responsible for each other and the world we live in.<br />Section 1: Language and imagery of violence<br /><ul><li>The simile in the first stanza, ‘soft like clay’, shows that...
  2. 2. Osundare uses the metaphor ‘the belly of the waiting jeep’ because...
  3. 3. The verb ‘booted’ in stanza two shows...
  4. 4. The verb ‘dragged’ shows...
  5. 5. What else can you find? (perhaps the repetition of ‘no’?)
  6. 6. The oppressors are referred to as ‘they’ because... while the victims are referred to as... because...</li></ul>Section 2: Structure<br />The structure of ‘Not My Business’ also helps us understand Osundare’s message.<br /><ul><li>The poem has ____ stanzas.
  7. 7. In the first three stanzas, there are two sections to each stanza. The second section is indented, and...
  8. 8. In the last stanza, there is not a second/indented section because...
  9. 9. At first, the narrator’s attitude seems...
  10. 10. By the end of the poem, the poet’s message is...
  11. 11. Each stanza has a reference to time. This is important because...
  12. 12. The final stanza reminds us that...</li></ul>Section 3: Personification<br />Osundare uses personification to make his point about shared social responsibility feel very real to the reader. <br /><ul><li>He refers to his ‘hungry hand’ because...
  13. 13. The jeep is personified in the first and last stanzas as ______________. This is to...
  14. 14. He describes the jeep as ‘waiting... waiting, waiting’. This repetition makes the jeep seem even more....
  15. 15. He describes his lawn as ‘bewildered’ because...</li></ul>Conclusion<br /><ul><li>The poem ends with the words ‘usual silence’. I think this is because...
  16. 16. In conclusion, Osundare has used imagery and structure to help us understand that justice is important, and what happens to other people really is our business...
  17. 17. I enjoyed/did not enjoy this poem. I learned...</li></ul>Not My Business by Niyi Osundare<br />They picked Akanni up one morningBeat him soft like clayAnd stuffed him down the belly Of a waiting jeep. What business of mine is it So long they don't take the yam From my savouring mouth?They came one nightBooted the whole house awakeAnd dragged Danladi out,Then off to a lengthy absence. What business of mine is it So long they don't take the yam From my savouring mouth?Chinwe went to work one dayOnly to find her job was gone:No query, no warning, no probe - Just one neat sack for a stainless record. What business of mine is it So long they don't take the yam From my savouring mouth?And then one eveningAs I sat down to eat my yamA knock on the door froze my hungry hand.The jeep was waiting on my bewildered lawnWaiting, waiting in its usual silence.<br />

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