• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A Summary For all the poems from a different cultures.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

A Summary For all the poems from a different cultures Coursework Sujata Bhatt: from Search for My Tongue This poem (or rather extract from a long poem) explores a familiar ambiguity in English - "tongue" refers both to the physical organ we use for speech, and the language we speak with it. (Saying "tongue" for "speech" is an example of metonymy). In the poem Sujata Bhatt writes about the "tongue" in both ways at once. To lose your tongue normally means not knowing what to say, but Ms. Bhatt suggests that one can lose one's tongue in another sense. The speaker in this poem is obviously the poet herself, but she speaks for many who fear they may have lost their ability to speak for themselves and their culture. She explains this with the image of two tongues - a mother tongue (one's first language) and a second tongue (the language of the place where you live). She argues that you cannot use both together. She suggests, further, that if you live in a place where you must "speak a foreign tongue" then the mother tongue will "rot and die in your mouth". As if to demonstrate how this works, Ms. Bhatt rewrites lines 15 and 16 in Gujerati, followed by more Gujerati lines, which are given in English as the final section of the poem. For readers who do not know the Gujerati script, there is also a phonetic transcript using approximate English spelling to indicate the sounds. The final section of the poem is the writer's dream - in which her mother tongue grows back and "pushes the other tongue aside". She ends triumphantly asserting that "Everytime I think I've forgotten,/I think I've lost the mother tongue,/it blossoms out of my mouth." Clearly this poem is about personal and cultural identity. The familiar metaphor of the tongue is used in a novel way to show that losing one's language (and culture) ...read more.

Middle

The opening lines of the poem compare human skin to a seedpod, drying out till it cracks. Why? Because there is "never enough water". Ms. Dharker asks the reader to imagine it dripping slowly into a cup. When the "municipal pipe" (the main pipe supplying a town) bursts, it is seen as unexpected good luck (a "sudden rush of fortune"), and everyone rushes to help themselves. But the end of the poem reminds us of the sun, which causes skin to crack "like a pod" - today's blessing is tomorrow's drought. The poet celebrates the joyous sense with which the people, especially the children, come to life when there is, for once, more than "enough water". The poem has a single central metaphor - the giving of water as a "blessing" from a "kindly god". The religious metaphor is repeated, as the bursting of the pipe becomes a "rush of fortune", and the people who come to claim the water are described as a "congregation" (people gathering for worship). The water is a source of other metaphors - fortune is seen as a "rush" (like water rushing out of the burst pipe), and the sound of the flow is matched by that of the people who seek it - their tongues are a "roar", like the gushing water. Most tellingly of all, water is likened to "silver" which "crashes to the ground". In India (where Ms. Dharker lives), in Pakistan (from where she comes) and in other Asian countries, it is common for wealthy people to throw silver coins to the ground, for the poor to pick up. The water from the burst pipe is like this - a short-lived "blessing for a few". But there is no regular supply of "silver". And finally, the light from the sun is seen as "liquid" - yet the sun aggravates the problems of drought. The poem is written in unrhymed lines, mostly brief, some of which run on, while others are end-stopped, creating an effect of natural speech. ...read more.

Conclusion

and the bright sign which shows its name is meant for white customers only. There is no sign to show this (as there would have been under apartheid) but black and coloured people, being poor, will not be allowed past the "guard at the gatepost". The "whites only inn" is elegant, with linen tablecloths and a "single rose" on each table. It is contrasted with the fast-food "working man's cafe" which sells the local snack ("bunny chows"). There is no table cloth, just a plastic top, and there is nowhere to wash one's hands after eating: "wipe your fingers on your jeans". In the third stanza the sense of contrast is most clear: the smart inn "squats" amid "grass and weeds". Perhaps the most important image in the poem is that of the "glass" which shuts out the speaker in the poem. It is a symbol of the divisions of colour, and class - often the same thing in South Africa. As he backs away from it at the end of the poem, Afrika sees himself as a "boy again", who has left the imprint of his "small, mean mouth" on the glass. He wants "a stone, a bomb" to break the glass - he may wish literally to break the window of this inn, but this is clearly meant in a symbolic sense. He wants to break down the system, which separates white and black, rich and poor, in South Africa. The title of the poem suggests not just that things have not changed, but a disappointment that an expected change has not happened. The poem uses the technique of contrast to explore the theme of inequality. It has a clear structure of eight-line stanzas. The lines are short, of varying length, but usually with two stressed syllables. The poet assumes that the reader knows South Africa, referring to places, plants and local food. The poem is obviously about the unfairness of a country where "Nothing's changed". But this protest could also apply to other countries where those in power resist progress and deny justice to the common people. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sujata Bhatt: from Search For My Tongue section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sujata Bhatt: from Search For My Tongue essays

  1. Poetry Analysis Tatamkhulu Afrika: Nothing's Changed, Sujata Bhatt: from Search for My Tongue, Tom ...

    The final section of the poem is the writer's dream - in which her mother tongue grows back and "pushes the other tongue aside". She ends triumphantly asserting that "Everytime I think I've forgotten,/I think I've lost the mother tongue,/it blossoms out of my mouth."

  2. When making a comparison between the two poems, 'Search For My Tongue' by Sujata ...

    Sundays he creates for himself works of art which represent his own struggles. The poet clearly likens the wood with which his Uncle works to the man himself when he writes: "how it swelled and shivered, breathing air, its weathered green burning to rings of time," The terms, 'swelled', 'shivered' and 'breathing air', clearly imply a human quality.

  1. I will compare two poems from completely different cultures to see if we get ...

    This term is now considered rude and insulting. The other poem that I am studying is Search for my Tongue by Sujata Bhatt; once again I have done some preliminary research just to get a feel for the author herself.

  2. Discuss with reference to two or three poems, the dilemma's caused by experiencing different ...

    The society Moniza Alfi is in is also affecting the dilemmas she experiencing from different cultures. "My salwar kameez didn't impress the school friends who sat on my bed, asked to see my weekend clothes." This quote shows that her friends are influencing her to be in the western society

  1. Poems from Other Cultures and Traditions

    use the spelling "Gujerati" But Professor David Crystal, in the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language uses the form "Gujarati". And a search on Google at www.google.com gives over 100,000 Web pages for "Gujarati". For "Gujerati", it shows just over 3,000, and displays a note: "Do you mean Gujarati?"

  2. Sujata Bhatt has two main culturalidentities Indian and English, which are represented by her ...

    To start with, both languages live side by side in the mouth, but gradually the mother tongue starts to shrivel up, 'rot' and die, as it is not used. The poet thinks that the mother tongue has been spat out and lost, until she has a dream.

  1. Discuss the ways in which culture and identity are presented in 'search for my ...

    "I longed for denim and corduroy. My costume clung to me and I was aflame," She creates emphasis by using the word 'aflame' in a metaphorical sense, she cannot rise above he feelings of discomfort. The image of the mythical phoenix rising from the ashes, she wants to be born again, but knows it will not happen.

  2. Write About How Sujata Bhatt and Moniza Alvi convey their views on different cultures ...

    And surely, I think, that if she can feel this way about one item of clothing from this culture, she must like the rest of them in the same way and in fact she almost certainly will think the same way about the Pakistani culture in general.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work