Parents Today by Benjamin Zephaniah
What is the tone of the poet as he speaks of the parents above?
Refer to specific lines to show why these feelings are expressed.
What idea is the poet trying to convey about the behaviour of parents? Refer closely to the poem to explain your answer.
In this poem Parents Today, the poet emphasises that parents are a problem to society and are the cause of destruction around the world. Benjamin Zephaniah also points out that it is the parents who influence their children's thoughts and decisions. Therefore, the poet expresses his dismay over the destructive never-ending cycle of society in this poem.
The poet begins by explaining the nature of the problematic cycle in society. From 'the problem with children today is their parents', it evolves to 'the problem with their parents was their parents' before finally ending off that 'their parents had big problems with their parents'. He is referring to nearly four generations which problems have been passed down over the years. Through this, the poet creates an effective repetitive effect that allows the reader to be under the impression that this destructive cycle goes way back into the past. It also connects the problems in the past to the ones that are present in modern-day societies.
The poet captures the reader's attention by phrasing words in a manner that would leave an impression in the reader's mind. 'Parents dare to send other parents to war?' and 'parents were sent to stop parents' are some of the phrases that not usually seen in typical day-to-day articles, leaving the reader to ponder about the significance of these words. These phrases signify that the things that happen in the past influence the future generations and their way of thinking. Thus the reason why the current society is faced with so much problems and the poet expresses his disapproval to the state in which society is slowly degrading over the years.
The qualities that are involved in the...