Agard’s poem is fairly straightforward where the voice is expressed as the most unique element that criticises a eurocentric version of history to celebrate his linguistic heritage. With William Blake, based in 1800s England, reveals his perspective and response towards the restrictive society he has to endure where laws are broken with strict and specific protocol.
Blake conveys his anger through his constant repetition of certain words such as ‘chartered’ or ‘streets’ which emphasises the restriction by authority creating the background and scene of an oppressed society that promotes self-imprisonment further creating a dull atmosphere full of anxiety. The speaker then expounds upon this later later on as the character in the poem ‘marks’ the weariness of the people’s faces as he walks by giving off a very melancholy tone but with a determined sense of rebellion. Since he lived in the 1800s, ideals of society were often over whelming and had radical thinkers like William that would not conform to society’s standards and expectations.
In Agard’s poem, it starts off with the repetition of ‘Dem tell me’, this highlights the control that white people have over history. At this point we can see through the author’s frustration being vented out through the poem’s words giving the audience an overview and tone which seems to be quite negative and angry. To present a much clearer tone, we get plosive sounds such as ‘bandage’ or ‘blind’ creating a tense atmosphere by using the consonant ‘b’. Not only does it show that he is feeling furious but he also rebels against the type of natural English he was always taught since childhood. He then gives references to both black and white historic people from the past such as ‘Kind Cole’, ‘Robin Hood’, ‘Nanny de Maroon’. This become evident that Agard has been forced to follow a British curriculum biased towards whites in particular meaning that as he was growing up he was forced to learn about mythological and nursery rhyme characters rather than living black people from the past. Now that he has matured and has come to terms with his real identity and value, his anger makes him change and challenge the views of history replacing them with major black figures to create a basis for his own identity and even others.
Overall the star of Agard’s poem makes the reader question the way in which history is taught and how we as individuals conceive our own public image since we learn about other cultures and races too. William little by little fights with such a revile and strict government in order to embrace freedom. His anger however is a little bit more preserved whereas Agard who is presented more explicitly. It is obvious that poets intend on correcting or fixing some kind of flaw in their world. The theme of anger brings a more direct approach not shying away and displays a poem where the audience are engaged with their readers.