According to my mood by Benjamin Zephaniah

According to my mood
I have poetic license,
i WriTe thE way i waNt.
i drop my full stops where i like………..
MY CAPITAL LetteRs go where i liKE,
i order from MY PEN,
i verse the way i like
(i do my spelling write)
According to My Mood.
i Have poetic license,
i put my commers where i like,,((())).
(((my brackets are write((
I REPEAT WHen i likE.
i can’t go rong.
i look and i. c.
It’s rite.
i Repeat when i liKE. I have
poetic license!
don’t question me????


from City Psalms

1 Though it’s true that poets have traditionally taken greater liberties than prose writers in the handling of language, Zephaniah here seems to have run the gamut of poetic licenses

Which liberties has he taken regarding spelling, capital letters and punctuation?

What’s the effect of these instances of poetic irreverence on the reader?

2 The tone of the poem is evidently humorous, however, its purpose isn’t banal. In it, Zephaniah is making a provocative statement on his aim as a poet. Pick out the many
repetitions of words and sentences in the poem and discuss what the poet wishes to emphasise by means of this device.

3 Zephaniah not only plays with typeface and punctuation in this poem; he also seems to have a relish for wordplay, as can be seen in his use of “write” and “rite” for “right”. Why
is the punning (the play on words) so apt?

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