Comparing poems from different cultures. Essay

Comparing poems from different cultures. Essay

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Comparing poems from different cultures.

Many poems deal with the theme of cultural identity. I have chosen
three to compare, they are:

Search For My Tongue, by Sujata Bhatt

Half-Caste, by John Agard and

Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan, by Moniza Alvi.

I chose these three poems because I feel that they all deal with
different aspects of cultural identity. For example Search for my
tongue covers the aspect of losing your native tongue and using a
‘foreign’ language, Half-Caste addresses the point of racism and
stereotyping, whilst Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan highlights the
issues of alienation and not being able to fit in with either side of
your family.

Search For My Tongue is quite unusual as instead of the text being in
one language all the way through it starts in English and then changes
into Arabic part of the way through. This leaves the reader with a
feeling of disorientation and that the reader, unless bilingual in
those two languages, can not read or make sense of the foreign
language.

This poem also relays to you the fact that even if you’ve forgotten
your mother tongue and don’t speak it for some time it will always
come back and blossom if it is used enough. The poet also puts the
point across by repeating the word tongue over and over again. The
foreign tongue can never take the place of the mother tongue, because
it is part of your own identity. The passage

‘….but over night while I dream it grows back..’

gives the impression that although you may speak in the foreign
language most of the time you still dream in your native tongue and it
will never go away.

The poem ‘Half Cast’ also deals with the aspects of a different
language but instead of writing in a ...


... middle of paper ...


...e to fit in with either side of their family. For example when her
Aunts bring the Candy-striped glass bangles they snapped and made her
wrists bleed, this is because people from Asia are very small boned,
so because of her being mixed race she was not able to put then. Also
it says that her school friends where not impressed by her Salwar
kameez, they wanted to see weekend clothes and where not interested in
the mirror work or the story how three of them sailed toto England.

I find all of these poems very interesting and thought provoking. My
favourite out of these three is half-caste because it give such a
strong point and all the examples make sense. Where we live there
aren’t many people from different cultures, so we don’t face racism
and people from mixed race that often. These poems make you see the
points of view and traditions of other cultures.

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