Benjamin Zephaniah is an English writer and dub poet. His full name is Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah. He is well known for his modern English Literature and was also included in The Times list of top 50 post war writers in 2008 in Britain. His poems are strongly influenced by the music and poetry of Jamaica. His first performance was when he was eleven at a church and by the time he was fifteen, his poetry was well known among the Asian communities.
Being a black, he had to face many limitations and therefore, he decided to leave to London to expand himself and his audience.
In London, he became an actively involved in the workers co-operative in Stratford, London, which lead to his first publication on poems. His main mission was to fight image of poetry as academia and he wanted to take to every person even if they could not read or write. And hence he turned his poetry into concert-like performances, so that everyone could understand and enjoy the beauty of poetry. He was won the BBC Young Playwright’s Award and awarded honorary doctorates from several reputed Universities in London.
“Dis Poetry” by Zephaniah is one of a kind. It is simple, yet looks like complicated. The poem is just spoken straight out from his mind.
The poem itself says that there is no rhythm and in case, found any that is pure co-incidence. The poem is juts flatly put, to showcase that the poet is not that specific about any particular event or thought, but yet words and thoughts in mind are much stronger than words put out.
The first part of the poem says that the poem does not hold any specifications as it is not for preaching, nor for following, it is not for putting you to sleep or for reciting after me, it is just that pope duo in my thoughts and is within me when I go to bed or bike. Loved Shakespeare and his work, but this is my style and I like it.
In the second stanza he says that, he is not afraid is this poem gets published, for it does require imagination to understand. He tried being romantic, but since it was of no good to him, he even left that subject. He tried to be personal, but all those have been discussed earlier and there is no use in discussing repeated words and thoughts.
He says the poem is for all alike, the child and adult, the wise and the fool, anybody could take it for free and read as it is just for you and me. Inspite of all these, you yet honored from Universities under a spotlight.
Lastly he says the poem is within him and would be with him all the time, no matter what or where he is, it is from him to you, just like that.
This poem has depicted his own life and he has put that in simple format as just a saying through this poem. If the entire poem is summarized and compared with Zephaniah life, it does have a lot of resemblance, he doe clearly say that he has not come for preaching or to be followed, yet he would like to spread the message, similarly, the poem says it is not specific for any character or subject, just like not for any age categories or politic, but for the Nation. He has clearly said in the poem, it is within me and no words would be from the past, where he shows that his ideas were not with anyone and not like the famous poet Shakespeare, but it has derived from within him and has been with him day and night.
The poem is just the depiction of his life and the message that he wants to convey to all, penned down beautifully and simply.