Literary movement

The poem “The British (serves 60 million)” by Benjamin Zephaniah is an example of postmodernist poetry.

Postmodernist poems ignore traditional poetry conventions such as rhyme or meter and do not follow strict r…


Textual perspectives

The poem “Remember the Ship” by John Agard is similar to Benjamin Zephaniah’s poem “The British (serves 60 million)”. In “Remember the Ship”, the speaker urges people to embrace and support diversity instead of encouraging bigoted ideas and spreading hatred towards certain groups of people. Agard’s poem highlights the advantages of a tolerant society, where people no longer hold prejudices. Just like “The British (serves 60 million)”, “Remember the Ship” tackles the theme of unity and the importance of accepting a diverse society. Both poems show that a diverse society can only function if everyone is treated equally.

The poem “Mr. and Mrs. Xenophobia” by John Agard presents a distinctly different attitude. The poem presents the attitudes of an elderly nationalistic couple, who longs for the days of the British Empire and dislikes foreigners. When analyzing the two poems, you can compare and contrast the attitudes presented in them, as well as the image of British society that they offer.

Another text you can look at is the article “This is my England” by Andrea Levy. Levy, who has often felt unwelcome in England because she is black and both her parents come from Jamaica, argues that she has every right to be considered a British citizen and pleads for a country that accepts and welcomes diversity. Both the article and Zephaniah’s poem stress the importance of allowing immigrants to keep their culture of origin in addition to adopting a British identity. However, Zephaniah’s poem is much more optimistic than…

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