Sunday, 21 August 2011

They had it coming - Steve Turner

The South East Asians,
they were made to cry,
Look at their eyes all
narrowed up and ready to bawl.

Black Africans:
Obesity wouldn't suit them.
There's a grace about their
Their children would be naked
without a covering of flies.

Indians are perfect for begging
in raged clothes
and falling dead on the streets
without too much sensation.
There are so many of them
that death is not longer a problem.

Middle Easterners, South Americans,
they were made to look anguished,
the mother crying to God,
the children just crying.
Earthquakes provide opportunity
for this.

White Westerners were made to laugh
in fast cars with beautiful friends.
They were made to drink and spend money.
Do not disturb the balance of nature.
Steve Turner (20th century) England


  1. What kind of poetic devices has this poem used?

  2. Hi Shane. Thanks for your question. I'm no expert, but for me the main devices are as follows:
    Hyperbole: The poet exaggerates in order to make his point: for example "Indians are perfect for begging" - of course no one is "perfect" for begging, so he's making a point here about how awful begging really is.

    Satire: He also uses irony to bring out his points, for example "Earthquakes provide opportunity for this" - of course no one in their right mind would say that earthquakes are "good" for making people miserable - here he's using the satire to highlight our (the westerners') uncaring outlook.

    His style is quite shocking - and he uses that to bring out the ambivalence of the western (rich) world towards those less fortunate.

  3. Thankyou very much :)
    it was really helpful

  4. Hey Bruce,
    do you know much about this poet (Steve Turner) and where I could find out information on him?

  5. Thanks for your question. Steve Turner is a modern English poet who writes especially for children. You can find out more about him here:


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