Characters and speaker

“Talking Turkeys!!” by Benjamin Zephaniah is written as an appeal to those who consume turkey meat for Christmas, in an effort to persuade them to give up this habit (tradition). The main characters in the poem are the speaker, the turkeys – represented by a bird called Turkey, and the absent receiver of the poem (people who kill and eat turkeys).

The Turkeys

The turkeys are the central collective character of the poem. The poet gives them human-like attributes in an effort to show that they have the same rights to live as people do.

Just like people, turkeys also “wanna hav fun” (p. 29, l. 2) and have different types of characters; some are “cool” and others are “wicked” (p. 29, l. 3). Furthermore, the turkeys are depicted as being able to befriend human beings, the poet himself having “friends who are turkeys” (p. 29, l. 9).

These creatures also seem to share the same hobbies and passions as humans. They like reggae and hip-hop (p. 29, ll. 17-18) and they desire Christmas presents and relaxation (p. 29, l. 21).  But, because of people, they “fear christmas time” (p. 29, l. 10).

Lastly, the poet choos...

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