Mixed Race Magazine

Exploring mixed race experiences

Poem: Half-Caste

John Agard was born in Guyana in 1949 to a Caribbean father and Portuguese mother, he moved to Britain in 1977.

———

Half-Caste

by John Agard

Excuse me
standing on one leg
I’m half-caste

Explain yuself
wha yu mean
when yu say half-caste
yu mean when picasso
mix red an green
is a half-caste canvas/
explain yuself
wha u mean
when yu say half-caste
yu mean when light an shadow
mix in de sky
is a half-caste weather/
well in dat case
england weather
nearly always half-caste
in fact some o dem cloud
half-caste till dem overcast
so spiteful dem dont want de sun pass
ah rass/
explain yuself
wha yu mean
when yu say half-caste
yu mean tchaikovsky
sit down at dah piano
an mix a black key
wid a white key
is a half-caste symphony/

Explain yuself
wha yu mean
Ah listening to yu wid de keen
half of mih ear
Ah looking at u wid de keen
half of mih eye
and when I’m introduced to yu
I’m sure you’ll understand
why I offer yu half-a-hand
an when I sleep at night
I close half-a-eye
consequently when I dream
I dream half-a-dream
an when moon begin to glow
I half-caste human being
cast half-a-shadow
but yu come back tomorrow
wid de whole of yu eye
an de whole of yu ear
and de whole of yu mind

an I will tell yu
de other half
of my story

———-

Watch John perform his poem

<iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/5KqyVpMJ1gI?rel=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

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This entry was posted on 9, August 2013 by in Poetry, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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