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There once was a country...
Rumens past tense verb "was" and the adverb "once" echoes children's story-telling but also hints at the sense of loss felt by the character.
Similar to Dharker's 'Tissue' and Wordsworth's 'The Prelude', Rumens equates light with hope and positivity.
It may be at war, it may be sick with tyrants
Personification of the city to emphasise the sympathy and connection to the character's homeland; the verb-phrase "sick with tyrants" helps to create the sense that tyranny is a disease, much as it afflicts Blake's 'London'
It may now be a lie, banned by the state / but I can't get it off my tongue.
Like Agard's 'Checking Out Me History', and Dharker's 'Tissue', language has power.