“Checking Out Me History” was written by the British Guyanese poet John Agard and first published in 2005, in the collection Half-Caste. 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.
- 1 What inspired John Agard to write checking out me history?
- 2 What does checking out me history say about power?
- 3 How does John Agard explore identity in checking out history?
- 4 How does Agard present ideas about identity in checking out me history?
- 5 What does dem tell me mean?
- 6 What does Bandage up me eye with me own history meaning?
- 7 Why is nanny de maroon associated with nature in checking out me history?
- 8 What does Toussaint de Beacon mean?
- 9 Why is Agard angry in checking out me history?
- 10 What does Checking Out Me History compare with?
- 11 How does Checking Out Me History show conflict?
What inspired John Agard to write checking out me history?
The poem was inspired by reading a school textbook which claimed that West Indian history began with Columbus. It was published in the collection “Half caste and other poems” which was focused on both culture and racial identity. Agard published the collection after living in Britain for approximately 30 years.
What does checking out me history say about power?
This contrasts ‘blind’ and shows the power of historical figures and the power of identity. It shows how it is of no interest to Agard as he sees the black historical figures more interesting to him as they are linked to him in a personal way.
How does John Agard explore identity in checking out history?
How does Agard present his ideas in ‘Checking out me history’? Be able to identify techniques and explore the effect on the reader. Agard uses a dialect (Creole) in this poem shown by the phonetic spelling, making clear that language is part of identity his linguistic heritage.
How does Agard present ideas about identity in checking out me history?
John Agard does this to reflect his own identity and show he is proud of his identity. This is done by explicitly marking sections of ‘white history’ and ‘black history. ‘ John Agard very often wrote his poems in his own dialect/accent.
What does dem tell me mean?
LANGUAGE: Dialect = “Dem tell me” – this poem is written in the way the speaker would speak, meaning he is embracing his own identity and culture rather than conforming to the one he finds himself in. Perhaps this wound could be that of his own culture and identity, which he feels he has lost.
What does Bandage up me eye with me own history meaning?
“Bandage up me eye with me own history” suggests insult to injury in the sense that the accused caused the blindness, then used the listener’s “own history” to cover up the blind eye. In all, the accusation is of a deliberate, cruel attempt to mislead.
Why is nanny de maroon associated with nature in checking out me history?
The second stanza in this section of ‘Checking Out Me History’ highlights much of the perceived character of Nanny the Maroon, using nature-based imagery to bring a positive influence to the picture. She was a “hopeful stream” that led to a “river” of freedom, a fiery force with a mountain dream.
What does Toussaint de Beacon mean?
Toussaint de beacon. The hopeful metaphorical noun “beacon” stands as a direct contrast to the ‘blinding’ experienced by Agard earlier in the poem, adding to a semantic field of light and illumination alongside “vision”, “see-far woman”, “fire-woman”, “star” and “yellow sunrise”. Nanny de maroon.
Why is Agard angry in checking out me history?
Checking Out Me History Analysis The poem ‘Checking Out Me History’ is both an angry and assertive poem that links the history one is taught in school with a sense of cultural identity or lack thereof. While Agard shows anger at his lack of Caribbean education, he ends the poem on a positive note.
What does Checking Out Me History compare with?
Overall comparison Both London and Checking Out Me History are poems that express the poets anger towards the misuse of power by those with authority, but the main difference is that while Agard shows a solution, Blake does not, showing how they have different viewpoints on if it is possible to change.
How does Checking Out Me History show conflict?
How is conflict over identity presented in Checking Out Me History and one other poem from The Anthology? Both poems ‘The Emigree’ and ‘Checking Out Me History’ explore a feeling of conflict over the persona’s own individual identity as a result of displacement and historical inaccuracy.