Friday, March 16, 2007

Poems from the Past ...

Recently I was discussing certain poems I studied at GCSE and I found a memorable poem that has stuck in my mind since I was 15 ... it is called ...

By John Agard
Excuse me
standing on one leg
I’m half-caste.
Explain yuself
wha yu mean
when yu say half-caste
yu mean when Picasso
mix red an green
is a half-caste canvas?
explain yuself
wha yu mean
when yu say half-caste
yu mean when light an shadow
mix in de sky
is a half-caste weather?
well in dat case
england weather
nearly always half-caste
in fact some o dem cloud
half-caste till dem overcast
so spiteful dem don’t want de sun pass
ah rass?
explain yuself
wha yu mean
when yu say half-caste
yu mean tchaikovsky
sit down at dah piano
an mix a black key
wid a white key
is a half-caste symphony?
Explain yuself
wha yu mean
Ah listening to yu wid de keen
half of mih ear
Ah looking at yu wid de keen
half of mih eye
an when I’m introduced to yu
I’m sure you’ll understand
why I offer yu half-a-hand
an when I sleep at night
I close half-a-eye
consequently when I dream
I dream half-a-dream
an when moon begin to glow
I half-caste human being
cast half-a-shadow
but yu must come back tomorrow
wid de whole of yu eye
an de whole of yu ear
an de whole of yu mind.
an I will tell yu
de other half
of my story.

1 comment:

Pete said...

I remember this poem to. I have tried to 'get into' poetry on occasion and have had friends of mine who know a lot about it talk and explain but unfortunately I just don't think I have the ear for it unless read by someone of that sort.
There are however some poems that jump of the page already sounding, as it were, I think its the rhythm of a poem that makes you listen and if you're like be you just don't get it till its shown to you. There are of course exceptions, Oscar Wilde's 'The Ballard of Reading Gaul' is the one at the foremost of my mind but reading this again I remember that it to belongs on that list of poem's with that of Oscar Wilde and those of Owen. It sounds off the page even for me and that is remarkable. I think its brilliant.