Literary period

John Agard’s poem “Listen Mr Oxford don” fits the literary movement called Modernism, as he explores current issues such as the immigrant experience, discrimination, and the clash between cultures. Some modernist features that can be found in Agard’s poem are the lack of punctuation, the use of multiple symbols, and the author’s experimentation with language and structure.  

The poem has features that are typical for post-colonial literature. One example of this is the appropriation of a colonial power’s language. Agard takes the English language – the language of the British Empire, which colonized the Caribbean – and combines it with dialect. He also uses elements that make the poem sound more like spoken language than written language, which reflects Caribbean culture. Finally, Agard focuses on the speaker’s cultural heritage and identity and challenges stereotypes about immigrants, which are topics that are often featured in post-colonial literature.

Current issues

Racism is still an issue for non-white Caribbean people in the UK, both in society and ...

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