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Look We Have Coming to Dover!

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Taking in its sights Matthew Arnold's 'land of dreams', the collection explores the idealism and reality of a multicultural Britain with wit, intelligence and no small sense of mischief. The beauty of Matthew Arnold’s Dover Beach scene is contrasted with Nagra’s poem, in which the sea has ‘gobfuls’ in its ‘phlegmed water’ and the cliffs are crumbling and ‘scummed’.The title of the poem would immediately be intriguing to a reader because of the poorly phrased language and mix of tenses. Beyond the title, there is a reference to Matthew Arnold’s “Dover Beach” which is a lyrical poem looking at transitions from old to new and the loneliness that this can cause for an individual. One example is “ Bedford van” which became a well known piece of British culture throughout the 20th century, including many wartime vehicles branded as “Bedford”.

To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. by Daljit Nagra tells of the arrival of immigrants to England and of their lives filled with hard work, fears, and dreams. With classics such as Ted Hughes's The Iron Man and award-winners including Emma Carroll's Letters from the Lighthouse, Faber Children's Books brings you the best in picture books, young reads and classics. Suffice to say the man knows his stuff but as amusing as studying Shakespeare can be (for novelty value if nothing else), it pales in comparison to Mr Nagra's work: the patron saint of English Literature (a BLUE CHIP subject).The poem is a dramatic monologue, the voice that of the poet, using the first person plural ‘we’ and in the last stanza ‘I’.

These social issues make the poem even more interesting to look back on, and could help students to make a whole range of interesting comparison points with other poems.Nagra, whose own parents came to England from the Punjab in the 1950s, conjures a jazzed hybrid language to tell stories of aspiration, assimilation, alienation and love, from a stowaway's first footprint on Dover beach to the disenchantment of subsequent generations. I confess that most modern poetry makes my teeth ache with boredom because it's so earnest and glum and 'look-how-cleverly-I-put-that! The immigrants maintain their culture throughout the poem, even in the dream future they still keep their language in the safety of their middle-class homes.

Lines 21-25: “Imagine my love and I, / our sundry others, Blair’d in the cash / of our beeswax’d cars, our crash clothes, free, / we raise our charged glasses over unparasol’d tables / East, babbling our lingoes, flecked by the chalk of Britannia! There is no consistent rhyme or rhythm scheme in the text but the patterning of the lines is similar and a reader can find structure through the images used by Nagra.

When they finally make it to shore they drive off in an inconspicuous van and try to make lives for themselves. Its rhythmical, phonetic delicacies offer a colourful insight into British-Asian culture and are an inspiration to read. From Nobel Laureates Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter to theatre greats Tom Stoppard and Alan Bennett to rising stars Polly Stenham and Florian Zeller, Faber Drama presents the very best theatre has to offer. I have had the honour of profiting from my good friend Daljit's teachings for a number of months now at my secondary school and would go so far as to say I am the finest student in the class, a muse if you will.

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