What this blog is and how to use it

This blog contains poems that have caught my attention over the years. Many of the poems I've discussed and explored with 16 -19 year old students in my capacity as lecturer in English.

Browse the list of poems by scrolling down the page or read the titles of poems or names of poets in the sidebar 'Poem Titles and Poets'. Then click on the title or poet.

Monday 8 June 2020

Half-Caste by John Agard

John Agard

Half-Caste 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 u 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 dont 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 u wid de keen
Half of mih eye
And 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 come back tomorrow
Wid de whole of yu eye
An de whole of yu ear
And de whole of yu mind

An I will tell yu
De other half
Of my story

Click here to listen and watch John Agard perform the poem

and click here to buy a copy of Half-Caste and Other Poems by John Agard

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