The poem “Remember the Ship” is written by the author John Agard. Agard was born in 1949 and died in 1977 and he was from the earlier colony British Guinea. Later in his life he moved to England. When it comes to immigrating to a whole new country we know that Agard have had his own experience. His most known poem “Remember the Ship” is actually about immigration.
The poem is about the Windrush generation. The Windrush generation were those who arrived in the UK between the years 1948 to 1971 from Caribbean countries. It was the ship MV Empire Windrush that brought workers from Jamaica, Tobago, Trinidad and other islands. The ship carried over 400 passengers and many of them were children. Many of the arrivals in the Windrush generation became manual workers, nurses, cleaners or drivers. But some of them were leading in representing black Britons in society.
The poem if full of symbols. The most important symbol in the poem is The ship. The ship symbolises different things. Sometimes it is a symbol of actual transportation, the transportation of immigrants to a new land. But the ship could also symbolise a cultural baggage we all carry around in the world. The word “ship” is also used in different combinations such as; citizenship and kinship. The citizenship is the society and community and the kinship is more about the relationships we have.
So what is an Albatroz? An Albatroz is a great storm bird. An Albatroz that followed a ship meant good luck. But to kill an Albatroz, meant bad luck, and can be a foreshadowing of something bad will happen.
The poem has many references to race diversity and racism that was going to effect the UK. The theme in the poem is that all humans, no matter cultural background or ethnicity, we are equal. In the end we all belong to the human race.
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