The Internet belongs to everyone. Let’s keep it that way.

Protect Net Neutrality
Loading presentation...

Present Remotely

Send the link below via email or IM

Copy

Present to your audience

Start remote presentation

  • Invited audience members will follow you as you navigate and present
  • People invited to a presentation do not need a Prezi account
  • This link expires 10 minutes after you close the presentation
  • A maximum of 30 users can follow your presentation
  • Learn more about this feature in our knowledge base article

Do you really want to delete this prezi?

Neither you, nor the coeditors you shared it with will be able to recover it again.

DeleteCancel

Neighbours: Benjamin Zephaniah

No description
by

Oli Arcuri

on 21 November 2013

Comments (0)

Please log in to add your comment.

Report abuse

Transcript of Neighbours: Benjamin Zephaniah

Poem

I am the type you are supposed to fear
Black and foreign
Big and dreadlocks
An uneducated grass eater.

I talk in tongues
I chant at night
I appear anywhere,
I sleep with lions
And when the moon gets me
I am a Wailer.

I am moving in
Next door to you
So you can get to know me,
You will see my shadow
In the bathroom window,
My aromas will occupy
Your space,
Our ball will be in your court.
How will you feel?


Benjamin Zephaniah: Background Information
Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah is a British Jamaican Rastafarian writer and dub poet. He is a well-known figure in contemporary English literature. Zephaniah was born and raised in the Handsworth district of Birmingham, which he called the "Jamaican capital of Europe". He is the son of a Barbadian postman and a Jamaican nurse. A dyslexic, he attended an approved school but left aged 13 unable to read or write.He writes that his poetry is strongly influenced by the music and poetry of Jamaica and what he calls "street politics".
Poem Explanation
Stanza 1:

Theme
RACISM:
. From the first line, the poet uses declarative sentences to pass on his message, and this gives the poem a confident tone.

Throuought the poem, the poet highlights the various stereotypes of the black race, he paints the image of the black race which the whites do not like. (The line: “I talk in tongues” shows illiteracy and incomprehensibility) He also presents the whites'point of view and prejudice of the black people, they see the black as a homeless and an uncivilized race—one that appears to have no goal or ambition. Later on, he tries to bridge the gap between these two opposing groups. He says that although ‘I talk in tongues,’ yet, ‘I am moving in/Next door to you/So you can get to know me better.’ He appears to be unconcerned about past hurts and grievances, but looks forward to a peaceful coexistence.


Literary terms
Anaphora:
You should feel good
You have been chosen.

I am the type you are supposed to love
Dark and mysterious
Tall and natural
Thinking, tea total.
I talk in schools
I sing on TV
I am in the papers,
I keep cool cats

And when the sun is shining
I go Carnival.



Benjamin Zephaniah
NEIGHBOURS
Zephaniah lived for many years in East London but since 2008 has divided his time between Beijing and a village near Spalding, Lincolnshire. He also lived in Indonesia for 5 years.
He received a criminal record with the police as a young man and served a prison sentence for burglary. Tired of the limitations of being a black poet communicating with black people only, he decided to expand his audience, and headed to London at the age of twenty-two.
"I am the type you are supposed to fear
Black and foreign
Big and dreadlocks
An uneducated grass eater."
It refers to the white reaction to a large black man that has dreadlocks (stereotypical vision of a Jamaican imigrant). The white person watches in distaste.
The descriptive term "Grass eater" is is unusual. It refers to Zephaniah's vegan appetite, It can also be interpreted as a reference for marijuana (another stereotypical vision of the Jamaican population).
Stanza 2:
"I talk in tongues
I chant at night
I appear everywhere,
I sleep with lions
And when the moon gets me
I am a Wailer."
This stanza is related to Voodoo and African mysticism.
He mentions things that tend to make a black man feel proud and strong.
"Wailer" makes reference to The Wailers, Bob Marley's band (Zephaniah worked there).
Stanza 3:
"I am moving in
Next door to you
So you can get to know me,
You will see my shadow
in the bathroom window,
My aromas will occupy
Your space,
Our ball will be in your court.
How will you feel?"
He is now "invading" the white man's space. He mentions that his smells and belongings will occupy white space.
By moving in, he appears to be unconcerned about past hurts and grievances, but looks forward to a peaceful coexistence.
"Our ball will be in your court" is throwing down the gauntlet of encroachment.
"Neighbours" was presumably written in an era when there was a lot of racial tensions
Zephaniah asks "How will you feel?" because he know that what he is doing will have extreme reactions and consequences. Will there be acceptance or hostility?
Setting
The 20th century England. it was a time when, decades after emancipation, blacks were still discriminated against. This discrimination can be traced back to the era of colonialism which began in the early 1400s.
The poet lists the prejudgments commonly made against the black race, and tries to set these mistaken notions right.




The poem, written in free verse, comprises 31 lines of six stanzas. The stanzas are of unequal lengths, the longest (stanza 3) is a nine-line stanza, and the two shortest (stanzas 4 and 6) are both couplets.
Structure
In summary, It is important to understand that the poem does not, in any way, present any race as superior; it only tries to reconcile past differences and promote tolerance alongside equity.
"You should feel good
You have been chosen."
Stanza 4:
The author is very proud of being black. He is expressing that the whites should feel happy that a black man is becoming their neighbour
Stanza 5
"I am the type you are supposed to love
Dark and mysterious
Tall and natural
Thinking, tea total.
I talk in schools
I sing on TV
I am in the papers,
I keep cool cats."
Zephanaiah is trying to convince the whites that he is actually "cool". He is selling that he, and the rest of the black population are wonderful and interesting persons and they are worthy of getting along with.
Stanza 6:
"And when the sun is shining
I go Carnival."
The poet is expressing that he is a very fun person. He is comparing himself to a carnival, full of attractions. It is as if life to him is a party.
"I". He uses this to emphasize his presence, and that he felt assaulted together with the black race.
Imageries:
This poem has lots of imageries, as "I sleep with lions";"My aromas will occupy
Your space", etc.; he uses all of this imageries for us to have a clearer image of how he feels.
What is more, he uses this for us to associate this to the black race, as the smells and animals are important characteristics of the this race.
Full transcript