Language

Style of writing

The poem “Listen Mr Oxford don” by John Agard is written using an informal, colloquial style that stands out especially through the use of non-standard grammar. A few examples of this are the use of “de” instead of “the”, “yu” instead of “you”, and “dem” instead of “them”. This is done intentionally to convey the speaking style of Caribbean people and to stress that the speaker is judged in the UK because, as an immigrant, he speaks differently and has a different culture.

Moreover, the speaker appropriates the “Queen’s English” by creating a powerful and complex poem using Caribbean dialect, which only appears simple at first sight but is quickly revealed to be both clever and complex. This means that the poem’s language itself conveys t...

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