New
New
Year 11
Eduqas

Analysing the poem 'Kumukanda'

I can explain how Chingonyi uses language, form and structure to express his viewpoint.

New
New
Year 11
Eduqas

Analysing the poem 'Kumukanda'

I can explain how Chingonyi uses language, form and structure to express his viewpoint.

Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. The river in the poem could symbolise rebirth and the loss of childhood innocence.
  2. The story of looking after his ill mother becomes the coming of age initiation he missed out on by moving to the UK.
  3. In the final stanza, Chingonyi reflects on what his life would have been like if he had not left Zambia.
  4. In the final stanza, the idea of language is used to underline his lack of belonging.
  5. Enjambment is used in the poem which could also link to the river, arguably symbolising separation and distance.

Common misconception

The speaker feels as though he doesn't belong in either 'home' (Zambia or the UK).

The speaker seems to identify more with his African culture, reflecting on how his identity is "unfinished" which implies it isn't lost completely.

Keywords

  • Emphasise - highlight or stress the importance of something

  • Enjambment - continuation of a sentence without a pause beyond the end of a line of poetry

  • Significant - having great importance or meaning

  • Symbolism - using concrete objects or actions to represent deeper meanings or abstract ideas

When exploring connections for the second learning cycle, it may be more useful to annotate the text directly at this point, drawing arrows or colour-coding to show where each connection can be identified.
Teacher tip

Equipment

You will need a copy of the Edexcel GCSE Poetry Anthology ('Belonging' cluster).

Content guidance

  • Contains subject matter which individuals may find upsetting.

Supervision

Adult supervision suggested.

Licence

This content is © Oak National Academy Limited (2024), licensed on Open Government Licence version 3.0 except where otherwise stated. See Oak's terms & conditions (Collection 2).

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6 Questions

Q1.
What is cultural identity?
a person's belief in their cultural superiority
Correct answer: the beliefs and values of a group that shape a person's sense of belonging
the legal documentation relating to a person's nationality
a person's preference for certain cultural practices over others
Q2.
What does it mean to 'emigrate'?
visit another country for a short period
hold citizenship in multiple countries
work temporarily in a foreign country
Correct answer: leave your own country to settle permanently in another
Q3.
Where is Zambia?
Europe
South America
Correct answer: Africa
Asia
Q4.
Which of these are examples of a poem's structure?
author's biography and historical context
themes and symbolism
use similes and metaphors
Correct answer: order of ideas and connections between stanzas
Q5.
Why do poets use stanzas?
Correct answer: to indicate changes in mood or tone within the poem
to enable them to use more literary methods
Correct answer: to develop poetic voice and advance the ideas
to list key themes and motifs
Q6.
What is a metaphor?
Correct answer: a literary method that directly compares two unlike things
a type of poem with a specific rhyme scheme and meter
a detailed description of a person's physical appearance
a traditional story explaining a natural or social phenomenon

6 Questions

Q1.
What is enjambment?
a figure of speech that directly compares two unlike things
a type of stanza structure in classical poetry
Correct answer: a poetic method where a sentence continues onto the next line without a pause
a form of traditional storytelling in cultural narratives
Q2.
What is symbolism?
Correct answer: objects or actions used to represent deeper meanings or abstract ideas
use of descriptive language to evoke sensory experiences in poetry
intentional repetition of sounds at the beginning of words in poetry
intentional repetition of sounds at the end of words in poetry
Q3.
Match each of these words to the correct definition.
Correct Answer:emphasise,highlight or stress the importance of something

highlight or stress the importance of something

Correct Answer:significant,having great importance or meaning

having great importance or meaning

Correct Answer:convincing,the ability to persuade someone to believe or agree with something

the ability to persuade someone to believe or agree with something

Q4.
Arguably, the river in Chingonyi's 'Kumukanda' could symbolise ...
the speaker's pride in his Zambian identity.
the sadness he feels being separated from his cultural identity.
Correct answer: the separation between childhood and adulthood.
the grief he feels about the loss of his mother.
Q5.
In Stanza 2 and 3 of 'Kumukanda', Chingonyi repeats an adjective to consider how different cultures view each other as 'alien'. Which word does he repeat?
"river"
"father"
Correct answer: "strange"
"yellow"
Q6.
What is the connection between the father figures in the last two stanzas of Chingonyi's 'Kumukanda'?
Correct answer: he feels more connected to his ancestors than the father-figure in the UK
he wishes his father in Zambia could be more like the father-figure in the UK
both 'fathers' in the poem show how little fatherly support our speaker has