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1. What Are You Fighting For?
By Phil Ochs
This poem is an anti-Vietnam war protest poem. The
writer felt strongly against...
2. Anti-Racism Poem
This poem is about racism, and how it is wrong. This
poem makes the reader think, yes, WHY does it
mat...
Tear brimmed eyes
scan the garbage
In search of cans and
food
The eyes that never
saw
The sight of
playgrounds or school
T...
This is a poem to protest against child
labour. It tells the reader that children have
human rights too. The poem is talki...
• Power of three (the eyes, the
hands, the feet etc.)
• Emotive Language (Tear Brimmed
eyes, childhood stolen)
4. Speak for Me
This poem was written in
protest of animal abuse/cruelty.
Parts of the poem:
I haven’t seen anyone for
day...
5. Is it because I am black?
Joseph Seamon Cotter, Jr.
This poem is about the treatment of the native
Americans a long tim...
An Anthology of Protest Poems and their meanings
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An Anthology of Protest Poems and their meanings

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A small collection of protest poems and ideas on what they mean. An English homework assignment.

Published in: Education, Spiritual
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An Anthology of Protest Poems and their meanings

  1. 1. 1. What Are You Fighting For? By Phil Ochs This poem is an anti-Vietnam war protest poem. The writer felt strongly against the war that was going on near him. Part of the poem: Oh you tell me that there's danger to the land you call your own, And you watch them build the war machine right beside your home, And you tell me that you're ready to go marchin' to the war. I know you're set for fighting, but what are you fighting for?
  2. 2. 2. Anti-Racism Poem This poem is about racism, and how it is wrong. This poem makes the reader think, yes, WHY does it matter? Part of the poem: Black is Black. White is White. Life is always A racial fight. Why does it matter? Why do we care? Would you see a difference If the skin wasn't there?
  3. 3. Tear brimmed eyes scan the garbage In search of cans and food The eyes that never saw The sight of playgrounds or school The dry chapped hands that only felt The touch of hammers and rags The hands that only know How to clean and scrub And not to write and draw The dusty feet that have never felt The touch of a warm shoe Or felt beneath them A carpeted floor The feet that only know The prick of thorns and rocks A child, child like us Who should have gone to school Who should have read books like we do And eaten ice cream on a hot summer's day Instead of picking through the trash Or weaving carpets with fingers that Were meant to hold pencils and pens A child, with childhood stolen away
  4. 4. This is a poem to protest against child labour. It tells the reader that children have human rights too. The poem is talking about a poor child that is being forced to work, it’s about a child who never had any education or luxuries.
  5. 5. • Power of three (the eyes, the hands, the feet etc.) • Emotive Language (Tear Brimmed eyes, childhood stolen)
  6. 6. 4. Speak for Me This poem was written in protest of animal abuse/cruelty. Parts of the poem: I haven’t seen anyone for days. My bones ache for attention, As I see you walk away. It didn’t use to be that way. I guess I got to be too much to handle As I now sit alone in my deserted land. I have no voice of my own. I need you to speak for me. The days are long as I waste away. Nowhere to go, I pull at the chains, Welts at my neck, blood, misery and pain. Can anybody speak for me? As hunger rots my core, I wonder where you are, And why you have left me here to suffer. What agony did I cause to deserve this punishment? Can anybody speak for me? Do you even remember my name? When your pellets silence my Howling cries in the night? With not even a grassy patch To rest my weary head upon, Dirt is all that remains from my constant pacing. Can someone please speak for me? I lay here dying and unloved. As I am being tossed away with the banana peels And other gluttonous garbage, I needed you to speak for me.
  7. 7. 5. Is it because I am black? Joseph Seamon Cotter, Jr. This poem is about the treatment of the native Americans a long time ago. Parts of the poem: WHY do men smile when I speak Why do men sneer when I arise Is it because I am black?

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