The language in the poem “The British (serves 60 million)” by Benjamin Zephaniah is neutral. The poet uses everyday words that are easy to understand by everyone to get the message across.
One of the most distinctive features of the language used in the poem is its vocabulary. The poem uses terms that are related to cooking to describe the formation of British society. For example, we have phrases such as “stir vigorously” (l. 6), “Sprinkle” (l. 14), and “simmer” (l. 19). Even more, the elements that form British society are repeatedly referred to as “ingredients” (l. 19). The choice of words is unexpected and surprising, capturing the attention of the readers, and giving them a unique way to reflect on the message of the poem.
Some words can be used both as cooking terms, as well as when we talk about people, depending on the context. One example is the word settle in the second line: “And let them settle”. To settle can mean to cause a liquid to become clear, but also, in terms of populations, to settle can mean to form a colony, or to find a permanent home somewhere.
We should also note to use of verbs in the imperative mood, such as “Take” (l. 1), “Leave the ingredients to simmer”...