Compare the two poems, Presents from my aunts in Pakistan and

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Compare the two poems, Presents from my aunts in Pakistan and

Search for my tongue. Both poems shows people thinking about their

roots and how each poem conveys their thoughts and feelings.

In this essay I will be evaluating two poems from different cultures

and traditions. Both poems 'Search for my tongue' and 'presents from

my aunts in Pakistan' are about true identity and searching for your


'Presents from my aunts in Pakistan' is mainly about a girl who is of

mixed race and how she describes the gifts of clothes and jewellery

sent to her in England by her Pakistani relatives.

There is no rhyme scheme and the poem is written in free verse. Free

verse simply means that the phrases are arranged loosely across the

page. It is divided into stanzas of varying length.

The girl contrasts the beautiful clothes and jewellery of India with

English clothing. She describes how it feels like wearing the 'salwar

kameez' and how she longed for denim and corduroy. She's drawn to the

loveliness of the gifts but feels awkward wearing them because she is

more comfortable in English clothes.

The poem is full of associated, sometimes contrasting images. An

example of a contrasting image is ' of no fixed nationality staring

through fretwork in the Shalimar gardens.' Fretwork is basically

decorative carving and the Shalimar gardens is an ornamental ark in

Lahore, her hometown.

The girl describes how life in England differs from life in Pakistan.

She talks about the salwar kameez as 'alien' but wanting cardigans

from Marks and Spencer's. The way the women live is somewhat different

from that of England. For example her aunts were in shaded rooms,

screened from male visitors whereas the women in England go o...

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with. The speaker imagines herself there in Lahore - somewhere she has

been only in her thoughts. However she is of no fixed nationality.

This sounds a slightly threatening phrase.

After thoroughly reading the poems, I have arrived at two main

conclusions. Firstly it is important to know where one comes from,

which is perhaps what the girl in the poem was lacking as a child and

it is also important to know what has gone into one's making, even

quite far back, I think it gives you a sense perhaps of richness.

Secondly it is sometimes very difficult knowing two languages but

having to neglect the one that belongs to you. One's mother tongue is

an important link to your family and your childhood.

Last but not least I agree deeply with the statement and I quote '

that's the deepest layer of my identity' which was said by Sujati

Bhatt, the writer.
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