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Homework: Comparison of Half-Caste and Six O’clock News Half-Caste and Six O’clock News are very different poems. Firstly Half-Caste is written by John Agard whom has a Caribbean background whereas Six O’clock News is written phonetically by Tom Leonard from a Scottish culture. The poems use very different language. “This is thi six a clock new thi man said.” This has a lot of non-standard English and is written how it is spelt.
In Half-Caste it is very formal.
“Excuse me standing on one leg, I’m half-caste.” The narrator in Half-Caste is trying to get the point across that half-caste people are not half; they are full. Using ridicule, imperatives and repetition he mocks us about the way we judge half-castes. He uses colloquialism speech: “ah rass” and clever sentence structure: “and mix a black key with a white key” to stir the readers minds and really think deeply about the poem. Both poems use very short lines but are both written phonetically.
This adds impact and keeps the reader interested rather than long, everlasting lines.
The narrator in Six O’clock News is emphasizing the way that you only hear people with an “unaccented voice” on the BBC News. He does this very well by explaining that just because people talk differently to others, everyone has a different background and accent. He says “you wouldn’t want me to talk about the truth with a voice like one of your scruffs.” “You wouldn’t think it was true.
Both poems deliberately use no punctuation. This stops you from pausing and keeps you in rhythm while reading. John Agard uses no capital letters; except at the beginning of each stanza. This is so nothing is bigger than anything else. Half-caste is a sad, meaningful poem whereas Six O’clock News is less relevant using a questionable tone. Both poems are very well written and use many devices and techniques to keep the reader drawn to the poem.
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