In what follows, you can find our summary of the poem “Listen Mr Oxford don” by John Agard. The poem is written as a monologue by a Caribbean immigrant, who addresses an English professor from Oxford University, United Kingdom. Note that Agard himself is a Caribbean immigrant in the UK, so the text might be inspired by his experience.
The speaker suggests that he is seen as a dangerous man because he is an immigrant – and his identity is revealed to others by him speaking in dialect. The speaker suggests that he has been accused of ‘assaulting’ the English language and shows how his language deviates from official English grammatical structures and spelling. The speaker also warns the English professor that he will use language to defend himself from discrimination.