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Compare and Contrast Search for my tongue and Half caste.

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Andrew Parry 10R Compare and Contrast "Search for my tongue" and "Half caste". The Poem "Half caste" was written by John Agard, It refers to being half caste, someone of mixed skin colour and race. In the poem the persons mother is Portuguese while his father was born in the Caribbean .His mother is white and his father is black skinned. The poet writes that by being half caste you feel unaccepted and different. The poem has been written very much like the poem "the Beggar woman" because the poem is intended to be intended to be performed to an audience. The poet is beginning to set the scene and get their attention; he wants to make them consider what it is like to be half caste, and try to get people to accept him. John Agard has written this poem to be performed in pubs, it is a poem that needs to be performed standing up possibly on a table and delivered to the audience with emotion and expression. The poem is intended to make the audience laugh, by using humour the poet gets the audiences attention and the poet asks the audience to accept him. ...read more.


He continually mocks the audience making his own personal jokes which keeps the audience keen; he feels the audience still are not ready for his story because he is more complex than them. He feels the audience can't understand the complexities of him and his multi racial background. The poet uses lots of examples such as Picasso, Tchaikovsky and the English weather; he mixes elements from different cultures in an attempt to make things better. The examples he uses are funny and intended to amuse, they poke fun at the audience and show them that it is wrong to judge a book by its cover. At line 33 the poem changes and becomes more serious and aggressive, although it began light hearted it then becomes serious reminding that he is a mix "Search for my Tongue" Sujata Bhatt is the writer of the poem "search for my tongue", she feels like she doesn't belong because she was originally born in India, raised in America and lives in Germany. John Agard was born in British Guyana in 1949, the son of a Portuguese mother and a Caribbean father. Both poets feel unclear about where they belong and where their roots are. ...read more.


The two poems both contain tension and insecurity about the poets' identity; both feel they have lost touch with their roots. There are similarities in both poems, they are told in the first person and they directly address the audience. When the poets become angry in the poems the poets revert to their native language, to emphasise the point. "Search for my tongue" uses disgusting visual imagery, "your mother tongue would rot, Rot and die in your mouth", while "half caste uses hardly any punctuation and uses famous people such as Tchaikovsky and Picasso to illustrate his point. The poem I prefer is "half caste by John Agard, I prefer the poem because it is humorous and because it is written as a performance piece the audience can get involved. Agard is humorous in the poem but it has a very serious message to highlight how people can be treated badly by others just because of the colour of their skins. Sujata Bhatt uses a section of Gujerati in her poem, while I didn't find this confusing I felt it highlighted the two languages and opposing cultures. I preferred the lighter tone of Agards poem as Bhatts poem is very serious and although both poems have similar themes "half caste seems to get over its message in an easier way. ...read more.

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