Poetic devices

Alliteration

The poem “Remember the Ship” by John Agard includes several instances of alliteration, for example, in the second stanza:

for language
is the baggage
we bring 

a weight 
of words to ground
and give us wing (ll. 6-8)

In this example, the repetition of the letter “g” gives the impression of heaviness which fits with the idea of heavy “baggage” that the line presents. In contrast, the repetition of the “w” sound provides an airy and wispy quality to the words, which fits the flight metaphor. Both cases of alliteration also help to give rhythm and movement to the line. 

Allusion

The poem contains several allusions, the most obvious of which is the allusion to the ships that bring immigrants to different countries. The poem also includes an allusion to the way black people used to be whipped and mistreated while they were enslaved when it mentions “a whip of the past” (l. 21).

The speaker alludes to the poem “The Rime of the Ancien...

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