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Compare Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan to Search for my tongue

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Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan and Search for My Tongue both show people thinking about their roots. How does each poet convey their thoughts and feelings? In presents from my Aunts in Pakistan and Search for my tongue, the poets make clear to the reader their strong feelings that they have about their roots. The first poem that I am going to talk about is Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan by Moniza Alvi. Moniza Alvi comes from Pakistan and writes a poem in first person and is in autobiographical format. Alvi tells us that she is a mixed race girl who receives gifts from family who live in Pakistan; she describes the gifts of clothes and jewellery sent to her in England by her Pakistani relatives. Moniza Alvi contrasts the exotic clothes and jewellery sent to her by her aunts with what she saw around her in her school, and with the things they asked for in return. ...read more.


The poet suggests that the clothes showed her lack of beauty: I could never be as lovely as those clothes." Moniza Alvi gives the impression that the clothes are on fire: "I was aflame, I couldn't rise up out of its fire." This shows us her uneasiness about wearing the clothes in another country "who longed for denim and corduroy" The sense of being between two cultures is shown when the "school friend" asks to see Moniza Alvi's "weekend clothes" and is not impressed. The school friend's reaction suggests that she has little idea of what Alvi is and isn't allowed to do at weekends, despite living in Britain. The next poem I am going to talk about is Search for My Tongue by Sujata Bhatt. Sujata Bhatt was born on 6th May 1956 in Ahmedabad, India. Her Mother Tongue was Gujarati. ...read more.


Bhatt explains that your mother tongue and a second tongue can not be used together. She suggests 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 express how this works, Sujata Bhatt rewrites lines 15 and 16 in Gujarati. Bhatt compares the tongue to a plant: * 'would rot, rot and die', * 'it grows back', * 'grows strong veins' The plant is like a tongue because plants die in the wrong environment and she says the tongue rots and dies. The final section of the poem is the poet's dream - in which her mother tongue grows back and "pushes the other tongue aside". She ends delightedly emphasizing that "Everytime I think I've forgotten, I think I've lost the mother tongue, it blossoms out of my mouth." Adam Mather 10WS Page 1 of 3 ...read more.

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