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English Junior Cert Sample Answer Poetry

‘Checking Out Me History’ by John Agard

Dem tell me

Dem tell me

Wha dem want to tell me

  1. Bandage up me eye with me own history Blind me to me own identity

Dem tell me bout 10661 and all dat

Dem tell me bout Dick Whittington and he cat2

  1. But Toussaint L’Ouverture3 No dem never tell me bout dat


A slave

  1. With vision Lick back Napoleon Battalion
  2. And first Black Republic born Toussaint de thorn To de French
  3. Toussaint de beacon

Of de Haitian Revolution

Dem tell me bout de man who discover de balloon

And de cow who jump over de moon

  1. Dem tell me bout de dish ran away with de spoon But dem never tell me bout Nanny de maroon4


See-far woman

  1. Of mountain dream Fire-woman struggle Hopeful stream
  2. the year in which the Battle of Hastings occurred as well as the Norman conquest of England; a major turning point in English history
  3. A piece of English folklore that centres around Richard Whittington (Lord Mayor of London) and his rags-to-riches story, which involved the help of his cat
  4. Nicknamed “The Black Napoleon”; military leader of the Haitian Revolution
  5. Nanny of the Maroons; a Jamaican national hero; was the leader of the Jamaican Maroons

To freedom river

  1. Dem tell me bout Lord Nelson1 and Waterloo2 But dem never tell me bout Shaka de great Zulu3 Dem tell me bout Columbus and 1492

But what happen to de Caribs and de Arawaks4 too

  1. Dem tell me bout Florence Nightingale and she lamp And how Robin Hood used to camp

Dem tell me bout ole King Cole was a merry ole soul But dem never tell me bout Mary Seacole5

  1. From Jamaica
  2. And even when de British said no She still brave the Russian snow
  3. A yellow sunrise To the dying

Dem tell me

Dem tell me wha dem want to tell me

  1. But now I checking out me own history I carving out me identity
  2. British flag officer; member of the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars
  3. The Battle of Waterloo; marked the end of Napoleon’s reign and therefore the end of the French Revolution
  4. One of the great monarchs of the Zulu Kingdom in South Africa
  5. The Caribs and Arawaks are two groups of people ind...

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