Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.
Checking out me history
John Agard
AQA English Literature Paper 2
Section B-Conflict and Power Poetry
• John Agard is a poet
originally from
Guyana in South
America, near the
Caribbean.
• He came to England
in 1977.
• His Po...
• John is a well known writer,
especially of children’s poetry
• He has performed his poetry at
more than two thousand sch...
Starter
• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEsknmeyJ5U
• Let’s listen to a brilliant song-like performance of
the poem by th...
What’s it about?
• The narrator is talking about his identity
and how it links to his knowledge of
history.
• He was taugh...
Dem tell me
Dem tell me
Wha dem want to tell me
Bandage up me eye with me own history
Blind me to me own identity
“Dem” =C...
Dem tell me about 1066 and all dat
Dem tell me bout Dick Wittington and he cat
But Toussaint L’Ouverture
No dem never tell...
Wordsworth
wrote a sonnet
about him. It’s
at the end of
this PPT if you
have time to
read it!
Toussaint A slave
With visio...
Dem tell me bout de man who discover de balloon
And de cow who jump over de moon
Dem tell me bout de dish ran away with de...
Nanny See-far woman
Of mountain dream
Fire-woman struggle
Hopeful stream
To freedom river
What is the effect of
each of th...
Dem tell me bout Lord Nelson and Waterloo
But dem never tell me bout Shaka de great Zulu
Dem tell me bout Columbus and 149...
Dem tell bout Florence Nightingale and she lamp
And how Robin Hood used to camp
Dem tell me bout ole King Cole was a merry...
From Jamaica
She travel far
To the Crimean War
She volunteer to go
And even when de British said no
She still brave the Ru...
Dem tell me
Dem tell me wha dem want to tell me
But now I checking out me own history
I carving out me identity
Returns to...
What do these images have to do with
the poem? Choose one to explain.
Feelings and
Attitudes
• ANGER-The narrator is angry
because the education system
didn’t teach him about his
culture. He i...
Questions
1. Look at the italicised stanzas about Toussaint,
Nanny and Mary Seacole.
a) Pick out words which show the writ...
Questions
2. Why do you think the poet uses both male
and female figures from history in the poem?
3. What is the effect o...
Themes and
comparison
• Power of humans
• Identity (Tissue)
• Negative emotions-
anger (London)
• Challenging
authority
(O...
Extension Activity
• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ywy-
Tthdg7w
• Click the link above to see John Agard
performing anoth...
TO TOUSSAINT L'OUVERTURE
TOUSSAINT, the most unhappy of men!
Whether the whistling Rustic tend his plough
Within thy heari...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Checking out me history

13,757 views

Published on

Checking out me history

Published in: Education
  • Login to see the comments

Checking out me history

  1. 1. Checking out me history John Agard AQA English Literature Paper 2 Section B-Conflict and Power Poetry
  2. 2. • John Agard is a poet originally from Guyana in South America, near the Caribbean. • He came to England in 1977. • His Portugese mother is white and his father is black. • Many of his poems are about identity and culture.
  3. 3. • John is a well known writer, especially of children’s poetry • He has performed his poetry at more than two thousand schools with the aim of raising awareness of Caribbean culture. • He is a performing poet for whom the sound of poems is especially important. • His poems often use humour to convey a serious point. • He lives in Sussex with his partner, the poet Grace Nichols.
  4. 4. Starter • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEsknmeyJ5U • Let’s listen to a brilliant song-like performance of the poem by the poet himself, John Agard.
  5. 5. What’s it about? • The narrator is talking about his identity and how it links to his knowledge of history. • He was taught all about British history but he wasn’t taught about his Caribbean roots. He lists famous figures from British history, literature and nursery rhymes and questions why he isn’t taught about people from other cultures who did great things. • He mentions men and women from black history who should be celebrated. • At the end, he says he’s going to create his own identity based on his own heritage.
  6. 6. Dem tell me Dem tell me Wha dem want to tell me Bandage up me eye with me own history Blind me to me own identity “Dem” =Caribbean pronunciation of “them”. “Me”=Caribbean pronunciation of “my.” What is the effect of this phonetic spelling? Who are “Dem”? Repetition/rule of three is song-like, like a chant-repeated at the end. What is the effect? Metaphor-not knowing history described as like being blind. Why? Read the next line! “Wha.” Elision. Missing off the “t.” Effect? What are bandages supposed to be used for? Why is this ironic here?
  7. 7. Dem tell me about 1066 and all dat Dem tell me bout Dick Wittington and he cat But Toussaint L’Ouverture No dem never tell me bout dat “1066 and All That”-a humorous history book first published in 1930. What does the phrase “and all dat” suggest? Toussaint L’Ouverture led a revolution of slaves on the island of Haiti-a French colony at the time. He established Haitian independence. A pantomime. A poor boy becomes rich because his cat is a great rat catcher. He eventually becomes Mayor of London.
  8. 8. Wordsworth wrote a sonnet about him. It’s at the end of this PPT if you have time to read it! Toussaint A slave With vision Lick back Napoleon Battalion And first black Republic born Toussaint de thorn To de French Toussant de beacon Of de Haitian Revolution Haiti. A republic is a country without kings. Agard uses Italics to highlight this important figure from black history and separate him from the “European” and “white” version of history. Draw a box around this section. Toussaint died in a French jail after being captured. Notice how the European images of him all dress him like a European solder. Can you spot any rhyme and repetition in this section? What is the effect? Napoleon-ruler of France. Battalion a large group of soldiers Metaphor=Toussaint is compared thorn in the side of the French. Why? Effect? Metaphor=Toussa int compared to a beacon of light. Why? Effect?
  9. 9. Dem tell me bout de man who discover de balloon And de cow who jump over de moon Dem tell me bout de dish ran away with de spoon But dem never tell me but Nanny de maroon Nursery rhymes seen as more important than an important figure from black history. A Jamaican national hero. Escaped slavery and formed the maroons: a community of runaway slaves who fought a guerrilla war against the British on the Island. The French Montgolfier brothers inventors of the hot air balloon
  10. 10. Nanny See-far woman Of mountain dream Fire-woman struggle Hopeful stream To freedom river What is the effect of each of the images highlighted in red? Agard again uses Italics to highlight this important figure from black history and separate him from the “European” and “white” version of history. Draw a box around this section.
  11. 11. Dem tell me bout Lord Nelson and Waterloo But dem never tell me bout Shaka de great Zulu Dem tell me bout Columbus and 1492 But what happen to de Caribs and de Arawaks too Nelson-Britain’s greatest naval hero. Died at the Battle of Trafalgar (1805). Waterloo-the battle in 1815 when Napoleon was finally defeated by the Duke of Wellington Christopher Columbus “discovered” America in 1492 The original people who lived in the Caribbean who were killed, displaced or enslaved by the European settlers Powerful leader of the African Zulu nation
  12. 12. Dem tell bout Florence Nightingale and she lamp And how Robin Hood used to camp Dem tell me bout ole King Cole was a merry ole soul But dem never tell me bout Mary Seacole A white British nurse who helped treat wounded soldiers during the Crimean War (1853-6). She was known as the “lady with the lamp” as she used to do her rounds at night with one. Robin Hood and Old King Cole-figures from folk tales and nursery rhymes. Poet suggests they are seen as more important than important figures from black history.
  13. 13. From Jamaica She travel far To the Crimean War She volunteer to go And even when de British said no She still brave the Russian snow A healing star Among the wounded A yellow sunrise To the dying Mary Seacole was a black Jamaican nurse who saved many lives during the Crimean. She offered her help to the British Government. They refused but she went anyway! Less famous than Florence Nightingale. What is the effect of these two metaphors? Why does the poet choose to use rhyme in this section? Another black history hero. Draw a box around this section.
  14. 14. Dem tell me Dem tell me wha dem want to tell me But now I checking out me own history I carving out me identity Returns to and repeats the opening lines-what is the effect of this refrain? An old name for a refrain is a “burden”. Why might this be a more appropriate term here? Metaphor-why is researching your past and discovering who you are like carving?
  15. 15. What do these images have to do with the poem? Choose one to explain.
  16. 16. Feelings and Attitudes • ANGER-The narrator is angry because the education system didn’t teach him about his culture. He is unaware of his heritage even though it’s an important part of who he is. • ADMIRATION-He respects the Caribbean figures he describes in the poem. He admires their achievements and wants to tell their stories to show the role they played in history. • CELEBRATION-At the end he says he will embrace his own identify in a positive way.
  17. 17. Questions 1. Look at the italicised stanzas about Toussaint, Nanny and Mary Seacole. a) Pick out words which show the writer’s admiration for these “hidden” figures of black history. b) Why do you think the writer sets them apart in italics? c) Why do you think the poet decided to use an irregular pattern in his rhyme in this poem?
  18. 18. Questions 2. Why do you think the poet uses both male and female figures from history in the poem? 3. What is the effect of the verbs “checking” and “carving” in the final lines of the poem? 4. Why do you think the poet decides not to use punctuation in the poem? 5. What natural images does the poet use and why are they important?
  19. 19. Themes and comparison • Power of humans • Identity (Tissue) • Negative emotions- anger (London) • Challenging authority (Ozymandias/Tissue)
  20. 20. Extension Activity • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ywy- Tthdg7w • Click the link above to see John Agard performing another of his poems, Listen Mr Oxford Don. • What similarities can you hear between this and Checking Out Me History?
  21. 21. TO TOUSSAINT L'OUVERTURE TOUSSAINT, the most unhappy of men! Whether the whistling Rustic tend his plough Within thy hearing, or thy head be now Pillowed in some deep dungeon's earless den; - O miserable Chieftain! where and when Wilt thou find patience? Yet die not; do thou Wear rather in thy bonds a cheerful brow: Though fallen thyself, never to rise again, Live, and take comfort. Thou hast left behind Powers that will work for thee; air, earth, and skies; There's not a breathing of the common wind That will forget thee; thou hast great allies; Thy friends are exultations, agonies, And love, and man's unconquerable mind. William Wordsworth

×