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CSEC English B: Poem Theme Index

Updated: Nov 5, 2020

Themes for each poem (2018-2023)


An African Thunderstorm- David Rubadiri

Nature, Doom, Experiences, Africa, Destruction, Fear, People, Children, Man vs Nature

Once Upon a Time- Gabriel Okara

Hypocrisy, Dreams, Wishes, People, Changes (people and the world), Maturity, Adaptation, Childishness, Innocence, Appearance vs Reality, Childhood, Western Values, Regret, Purity, Deceit, Wishing for Life to be Different (14 may 2008), Duplicity of Modern Man, Life and Its Experiences, Interpersonal Relationships

Birdshooting Season- Olive Senior

Experiences, Manliness, Gender Roles, Aspirations, Identity, Childhood,

West Indies, U.S.A.- Stewart Brown

Appearance vs Reality, Places, Experiences, Discrimination, Prejudice, Culture, Oppression, Economic Dualism, Expectations, Poverty, Affluence, Imperialism, Contrast (Culture)

Sonnet Composed Upon Westminster Bridge- William Wordsworth

Nature, Appreciation/Admiration (of Nature), Peacefulness, Places, Experiences, Wonder

Orchids- Hazel Simmons-McDonald

Nature, Death, Survival, Resilience, Desires, Self-Discovery, Identity, Internal Conflict, Beauty

The Woman Speaks to the Man who has Employed Her Son- Lorna Goodison

Motherhood, Hope, Dreams, Death, Sadness, Poverty, Crime, Gun Culture, Paternal Truism, Expectations, Mother’s Love, Experience, Treatment of Women, Violence

It is the Constant Image of your Face- Dennis Brutus

Love, Patriotism, Internal Conflict, Hopes, Desires, Divided Loyalties, Romantic vs Patriotic Love, Relationships

God’s Grandeur- Gerard Manley Hopkins

Admiration, The Glory of God/Religion, Nature, Man vs Nature, Tarnishing Nature, The Regenerative Quality of Nature

A Stone’s Throw- Elma Mitchell

Hypocrisy, Treatment of Women, Women, Extrajudicial Punishment, Religion and Gender, Feigned Morality, Violence, Abuse of Power

Test Match Sabina Park- Stewart Brown

Race, Ethnocentrism, Racial Pride, White Privilege, Sports, Contrast (Language and Culture)

Theme for English B- Langston Hughes

Race, Alienation, American Values, Culture, Truth, Identity (and Race), Introspection, Life

Dreaming Black Boy- James Berry

Race, Wishes/Hopes/Desires/Dreams/Aspiration, Unfulfilled Dreams, Wishing for Life to be Different (14 may 2008), Oppression, Discrimination, Suffering, Life, Fear

My Parents- Stephen Spender

Parent-Child Relationships, Class Disparity, Bullying/Oppression, Love of Parents, Fear, Freedom, Wishes, Forgiveness, Childhood Experience

Dulce et Decorum Est- Wilfred Owen

War, Suffering, Expectation vs Reality, Criticism, Lies, Propaganda, Patriotism/Nationalism, Trauma, Death

This is the Dark Time, My Love- Martin Carter

Oppression, War, Suffering, Fear, Pessimism, Injustice, Military Oppression, Colonialism, Death, Cruelty, Pain, People, Conflict,

Ol’Higue- Mark McWatt

Myths, Supernatural Phenomena (they allow explanations for inexplicable events and allow humans to blame mythological creatures for the world’s faults)

Mirror- Sylvia Plath

Senescence/Aging, Youth, Womanhood, Transient Nature of Youth, Life, Truth, Time, Appearance vs Reality, Self-Perception

South- Kamau Brathwaite

Social Unrest, Migration, Longing for Home/Homesickness, Idealization of Childhood, Nature, Life, Experiences, Patriotism, Dreams, Nostalgia

Little Boy Crying- Mervyn Morris

Parent-Child Relationships, Discipline, Childhood Experiences, Sadness, Anger, Appearance vs Reality, Sadness/Remorse, Love, Youth and Innocence, Vulnerability, Parenting


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