Wicked World! by Benjamin ZephaniahThis collection of poetry by Benjamin Zephaniah takes us on a journey through countries and cultures, celebrating the differences between us and yet showing our similarities. The poet teaches us about the oldest cultures, such as the native Americans in the poems Before all these cities, We are the Cherokee and Whosland and the newer cultures and their difficulties, in poems such as In the Mountains of Tibet and We Refugees. The poet brings all of these cultures together in the poem The British which is written in the form of a recipe, the ingredients being all of the cultures and ethnicities that make up the melting pot of Great Britain.
The author introduces all these cultures in a way that leaves the reader in no doubt that no race is greater than another and that there should be equality and social justice for all. This is evident in poems such as Who are we? and Be cool mankind. On a couple of occasions the poet departs from the world tour and provides a couple of other poems which although they are not about different cultures still express the differences we have as human beings, for example The Vegans and Children of the sewers.
I enjoyed Wicked World very much and really felt that Zephaniah brought world cultures to life in a very exciting way that children will easily understand and enjoy.
The illustrations in this edition definitely added to my enjoyment of this collection and helped me imagine what the poet wanted to get across.
I think as a whole this collection would be suitable for children aged ten plus as some of the themes, cultures and issues surrounding these poems may be too complicated for younger children. However there a couple of poems in the collection which may appeal to children a little younger such as Who are we? , A big welcome and Confessions of a runner .
As a tool this collection can be used in the classroom to teach the children about all the different and diverse ethnicities and the wonderful things that each culture can teach us. It can be used to encourage tolerance and inclusion in the classroom environment and beyond. It can also be used to enhance the childrens knowledge of geography and history as there are poems which touch on historical eras such as The Celts, A mystery from history and Glorious Losers. It could also be used to encourage the children to discover more about their own ethnic backgrounds by inviting them to create poems, stories or pictures about their own family trees.
We Refugees by Norwich Schools of Sanctuary with Arabic subtitles
University Train Station Set For Major Redevelopment
We all came here from somewhere. Malta is among the smallest member states of the European Union and the Council of Europe. Malta has through its history seen successive waves of migrants from Phoenician traders through Roman warriors, Christian knights and British empire-builders. Malta has been built on both emigration and immigration. In the last few decades it has done well economically and prospered. But it has not always been so.
Holly Reaney sits down with poet and author Benjamin Zephaniah, to discuss politics, poetry and his newly reissued novel, Gangsta Rap. Benjamin Zephaniah has been producing literature and impacting upon the political and literary scene since he burst onto the page in An honouree doctor of the University of Birmingham and a teacher in Creative Writing at Burnell University, it seems that he is a world away from the excluded school pupil of youth. However, that schoolboy is never far away, his early experiences inform the majority of his published work, and his roots in sharing his poetry started around the childhood kitchen table in Handsworth, Birmingham. Bridging the gap between poetry and people, he speaks to Redbrick whilst promoting his young adult novel, Gangsta Rap , which has been redressed in celebration of World Book Day They become a successful rap band but they have some opposition from people at the other end of the city. Zephaniah celebrates the creative individuals in a time where mainstream education is rejecting and dismissing the arts in favour of maths and sciences and subsequently manufacturing a generation which will increasingly struggle to place value in creativity.
I come from a musical place Where they shoot me for my song And my brother has been tortured By my brother in my land. I come from a beautiful place Where they hate my shade of skin They don't like the way I pray And they ban free poetry. I come from a beautiful place Where girls cannot go to school There you are told what to believe And even young boys must grow beards. I come from a great old forest I think it is now a field And the people I once knew Are not there now. We can all be refugees Nobody is safe, All it takes is a mad leader Or no rain to bring forth food, We can all be refugees We can all be told to go, We can be hated by someone For being someone.