Nanny chose the location well, however, and the town proved impossible to capture, despite overwhelming numbers of odds in favour of the British. But what happen to de Caribs and de Arawaks too. In some ways, this is why poetry can be such a subjective art form — without any voice, Dick Whittington’s Cat is a reference to an English, . Here it is more important to know that “ole King Cole was a merry ole soul” than it is to learn about one of the most prominent helpers in the Crimean War, who was more often than not overshadowed by Nightingale. He chooses to discuss issues of cultural identity, issues of race and power in his poetry. Please support this website by adding us to your whitelist in your ad blocker. (…) Finally, peace was agreed upon, and the community survived and thrived. (…) If you need further help don’t hesitate to message us back. He has an Honours in the Bachelor of Arts, consisting of a Major in Communication, Culture and Information Technology, a Major in Professional Writing and a Minor in Historical Studies. She travel far Dem tell me bout de man who discover de balloon The line could easily be a part of an old cheerful song, and this is the idea —. This also manifests itself in voice. Keep popping by we have done loads of similar poems and will likely do more in the near future. Join the conversation by. Today, she is a Jamaican National Hero, for her role in founding the Nanny Town community. The sections written in regular font refer mostly to the British Colonial education of his youth. One of the things that could be said to be lacking for the written word is the difficulty in relaying inflection. From the perspective of a culturally oppressed individual, this verse is inspirational and very saddening. He points out, for instance, that Toussaint was able to defeat (“lick back”) Napoleon in battle, a strong contradiction to the highly respected image of Napoleon that would have been especially prominent in a colonial schooling environment. Checking Out Me History is a modern poem by the Guyanese poet, John Agard. The poem focuses on the holes in the British colonial education system—particularly that system's omission of important figures from African, Caribbean, and indigenous history. What this indicates to the reader is that the speaker is well educated and versed within their home community and feels distant; it isn’t that they’re only receiving one side of the colonial story, it’s that it’s the only story they hear, and they don’t like it. Dem tell me The verses use many of the signposts of oral poetry tradition, reflecting the Afro-Caribbean situation. The speaker knows Toussaint as a beacon for hope, a light in the darkness. He uses the physical separation of the stanzas and the font styles to indicate which culture he is referencing. He moved to the UK in the late 1970s and began his involvement in educating adults and children ‘Checking Out Me History’ is about how we are educated and how it can be biased. Subscribe to Beyond from as little as £5 per month, giving you access to a range of resources. Many of the other poets that people study at gcse performed and explained their poems John Agard. Resources included: an editable PowerPoint presentation on John Agard’s ‘Checking Out Me History’; a poetry planning table; 20 poetry analysis questions; and a booklet containing the poetry questions, with space to respond. Agard wants us to be aware of both the things he was taught at school and the things he did not learn in the mainstream curriculum that he feels are important. Could you give examples of ‘lack of punctuation’ from the poem Checking out me history? Both women came to great repute during the war among soldiers, who were grateful for their commitment — but the speaker is only learning about Nightingale, amidst nonsensical stories of Robin Hood and “ole King Cole.”. Both groups were indigenous peoples native to the Caribbean, and both suffered enormously after European contact, vanishing entirely as ethnic groups, and only surviving in small communities thereafter. Dem tell me bout Florence Nightingale and she lamp Dem tell me Dem tell me Wha dem want to tell me. Not a single full stop or comma in the poem. Similar to the earlier verse comparing Nanny of the Maroon’s desire for freedom to the natural world, this verse makes Seacole seem like an angel, and shows favour for her in the same fast-paced, chant-like way as the verses for L’Ouverture. While Agard shows anger at his lack of Caribbean education, he ends the poem on a positive note. When John Agard wrote ‘Checking Out Me History’ (published in 2005), however, he wanted a different voice to be the speaker of the poem — not the reader, and not necessarily himself either, but someone who didn’t already have one. Flag By John Agard. Agard also introduces nursery rhyme and folk figures into his discussions of British culture, making the historic figures like Florence Nightingale and Lord Nelson seem more trivial. It was a great source of concern for slavers and a great source of hope for slaves during its time, and L’Ouverture was a defining figure in the movement. On both “sides” of the British-colonial story are figures whose contributions to their home, culture, or people are significant, and Agard examines both sides to critique blind history and to shed light on some of the most influential historic figures whose names are overshadowed time and time again. Agard’s poetry is written in patois to reflect his culture and identity, particularly relevant in a context where his heritage is ignored in what constituted History in schools throughout the 60’s and 70’s. To freedom river. Use of metaphor is reserved for the figures from black history rather than those from British culture. He rejects European syntax and English pronunciation throughout the text, choosing to write instead with a Caribbean, Creole dialect. One might suppose this will be a poem about family history or ancestry but it is instead about the whole of Caribbean and African history, long neglected in schools. Checking Out Me History by John Agard. One of the things that could be said to be lacking for the written word is the difficulty in relaying inflection.