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Read these four poems that each, from different eras, tackle the issue of imperialism and its effects from different perspectives.

by | Jun 5, 2022 | Writing | 0 comments

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Read these four poems that each, from different eras, tackle the issue of imperialism and its effects from different perspectives. “Rule, Britannia!” is a patriotic song that was written in the 1740s, as Britain was becoming a world power; “White Man’s Burden” is a late 19th century poem by Rudyard Kipling (of Mowgli / Jungle book fame, to most), that is specifically targeted toward white America arguing for the need to take control of the Filipino people and the islands of the Philippines; “Old England” is an early 20th century poem about England from Claude McKay, a Jamaican (then a British colony); and “Crusoe’s Journal” is a poem by the contemporary St. Lucian poet, Derek Walcott. St. Lucia was also a British colony.
Using hypothesis, write 5 one to two sentence comments for EACH POEM (no need to annotate the music to “Rule, Britannia!”, but if you know music, feel free to put a comment or two there). If you need to look words up, please use the OED (though it will be difficult with the McKay poem, because it is written in “Jamaican patois”–which is somewhat problematic, as we’ll discuss. Some of your comments can be in the form of replies, but again, be sure your comments are substantive.
Remember your comments should be substantive! You might consider looking at particular images or descriptions or word choices that seem especially significant; places where you see the poet making an argument or a claim about whiteness, superiority, inferiority, ignorance, and so on; places where literature or history is referenced; and so on. Be sure to indicate what you think is happening, specifically, in each comment!

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