Enjoy, cause i certainly didn´t :)

A Poem analysis of Ride by Benjamin Zephaniah

-Written by Bibbi

My immediate reaction to the title “Ride” is that there are so many thoughts popping in to my head about how this word has such a different meaning to different people. I mean I will always connect this word to how our lives is a rollercoaster ride with its up and downs, however in this poem I think it is more specific. Not about life in general,  but about this one incident or “ride” out of many more rides/tours to come and discover.


                                                                                                          Simple translation:

We first met on a golden night                                           they met on a a doc by
As the moon radiated love light                                          a bay and forgot every
On the dock of the bay.                                                      thing and every one.
Somewhere between the real deal and an illusion  à     They let them selves live
We lay unapologetically                                                     in the moment for once.
Stroking each others lack of responsibility.

‘I want to be a poet,’                                                     She is talking about her
She said looking over the mountain,                            inner thoughts and
‘I want to be a hippy,’                                                   throwing it all out there.
She said checking out me natty dread,                       Dreaming. Telling him about
‘I want to be political,’                                      à         everything that goes unsaid
She whispered as she admired my scars,                and unseen everyday.
‘I may not look it, but I’m really oppressed,’
She said smiling,
Handing me her welfare book.

The sea lassoed the shore
Time and night hovered towards daylight                He is in this paragraph
And bellyfilled foxes sniffed their way home. à      Describing his surroundings to
She put the blanket over her head                          create a specific mood.
Farted, and fell asleep.

The next time I saw her
She was trying to find The Goddess of Plenty,             She tells him that she is using
Desperately seeking the freeway                                  him for his body and money
And after me money.                                           à      and seems to think that’s okay.
‘It’s different for women,’ she said                                 And the next time he meets her
‘We can use men for their bodies                                  she runs him over with a weel-
Men do it to us all the time.’                                           chair. Not crazy at all.
The next time I saw her
She ran over me with her wheelchair.

The speaker is Benjamin and he is going through a heart break at some point in his life. Not nessasarly a break up with a girl, because I think the girl might be used as a symbol for something else (like the break of him not being treated right because of his background?)


Farted is a word that for me brings out the feeling of something gross and smelly, not fitting the theme for the first part but in a controversial way makes you more prepared for the last part that is kind of grotesque. Also the word whisper makes me think of intimacy.

And last but not least I reacted with surprise to how this “Its different for women, “she said. “We can use men for their bodies, Men do it to us all the time. “As one of the last sentences in the poem changed its meaning for me completely. The last part in this poem is where the storyline dramatically shifts without much notice.

The narrators´ attitude in this poem is heartbroken but surprised, and this u can notice by the way he ends his poem with making an extremely dramatically experience simple and raw.

So now the title to me is much more specific because I now understand which “ride” he is talking about. And I will end this analysis with deciding that the theme, for me, is love, surprise and disappointment in that exact order.


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