Outer composition

The poem “Listen Mr Oxford don” by John Agard is separated into eight stanzas of different lengths: stanza 1 has five verses, stanzas 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 have four verses, stanza 6 has seven verses, while stanza 8 has six verses, with the last verse being separated from the rest. The variation in length gives the poem a musical quality, which makes it sound like a typical Caribbean song.

Throughout the poem, the author combines several traditional rhyming patterns. As an example, consider stanza 3:  

I ent have no gun
I ent have no knife
but mugging de Queen’s English
is the story of my life 

In this stanza, “knife” rhymes with “life”, which is an example of an alternate rhyme (ABCB).

However, the rhyme scheme in stanza 4 is AABB, as “axe” rhymes with “syntax” and “hammer” with “grammar”:

I dont need no axe
to split up yu syntax
I dont need no hammer
to mash/up yu gr...

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