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In English this term we have been looking at poetry, particularly poets who live and write about Africa.

We looked in detail at a poem by Niyi Osundare, a Nigerian poet.

The poem entitled, Not my Business explores the fears and responses to living in an oppressive society where people are subjected to beatings and even disappear.

We used the poem as a springboard to discuss bullying, the students then attempted to use some of the structural devices in Not my Business to write their own poems.

 I am sure you will agree they are very powerful indeed.

 

Not My Business 
by Niyi Osundare

 

 

They picked Akanni up one morning

Beat him soft like clay

And stuffed him down the belly

Of a waiting jeep.

What business of mine is it

So long they don't take the yam

From my savouring mouth?


 

They came one night

Booted the whole house awake

And dragged Danladi out,

Then off to a lengthy absence.

What business of mine is it

So long they don't take the yam

From my savouring mouth?

 

Chinwe went to work one day

Only to find her job was gone:

No query, no warning, no probe -

Just one neat sack for a stainless record.

What business of mine is it

So long they don't take the yam

From my savouring mouth?

 

And then one evening

As I sat down to eat my yam

A knock on the door froze my hungry hand.

The jeep was waiting on my bewildered lawn

Waiting, waiting in its usual silence.


 

 

 

I Think They Look Normal
by Shekirah

 

She’s calling her names

Like “Freckles” and “Spots”

But I think she looks normal,

To me.

 

She’s calling him names

Like “Lanky” and Stretch”

But I think he looks normal,

To me.

 

She’s calling her names

Like “Carrot Top” and “Red”

But I think she looks normal,

To me.

 

Now, they’re calling her names

Like “Fatty” and “Chunk”

But I think she looks normal,

To me

 

                                                                         

 


 

 

 

 

My Blind Eye
by Ben Davies

In the night they came,

They came, they saw, they conquered,

My blind eye

Nowhere to be found,

Gone as fast as he left,

They came, they saw, they conquered,

My blind eye

His family mourned ,they weeped and weeped,

A sister without a brother, a mother without a son,

They came, they saw, they conquered,

My blind eye

They came to me, they looked at me,

They came ,they saw, they conquered,

A punch to my face,

My blind eye.

 

 

Not My Argument!!!
By Hannah

They surrounded William one morning picking on him like a rubbish bin

And threw out words until they sunk in.

‘What argument of mine is it so long they don’t include me in it?’

They come one afternoon disrupting the whole class

And pulled out Ben, then off they went punching and punching

‘What argument of mine is it so long they don’t include me in it?’

Jim excluded from school only finding out his facebook had rather rude comments

No warning, no sign, no problems

‘What argument of mine is it so long they don’t include me in it?’

And then that evening on my way home

A screaming from the ally froze my heart

The bully’s waiting on the top of my road, waiting, waiting, extremely, extremely happy

 



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