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Compare the two poems Search for my Tongue and Presents from my aunts in Pakistan.

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Introduction

I am going to compare the two poems Search for my Tongue and Presents from my aunts in Pakistan. The writer, Moniza Alvi, reveals her past in her poem Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan. The poem shows the reader her feelings for Pakistan, the country she was born in. The line "of no fixed nationality" sums up the mood of the poem, that because she lives in England, speaks English but is from Pakistan, she does not seem to belong anywhere. The poem Search for my Tongue, written by Sujata Bhatt, is similar to Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan, The line "I thought I spit it out" refers to the metaphor the whole poem is based on, that to speak two languages, to be a part of two cultures, is just as difficult as speaking with two tongues at once. ...read more.

Middle

This makes the reader emphasize with her struggle to belong. Sujata Bhatt uses a different technique to inform the reader about the struggle to belong. She uses the two meanings of "mother tongue", the first meaning being the tongue you literally speak with and the second the language you first learn to speak. This is her way of showing the reader how she is afraid not to remember her past and her native language. Both poems use nature to help their poems come to life; in Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan Moniza Alvi uses fruits to describe the vividly coloured presents: "orange split open,' "apple green sari". ...read more.

Conclusion

Both poems are unusual and are written to the reader but both have a deeper message. A quote from Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan sums up Alvi's poem also: "staring through the fretwork at the Shalimar Gardens" tells the reader that even though she is fully accepted in both of her cultures, she feels she will never be allowed completely to enter, she will always be at a distance. This contrasts with Search for my Tongue because Alvi seems to wish she had one nationality or another while Bhatt's dream is to fit fully into both cultures; she speaks of "if you had both tongues in your mouth" but she knows she never will as they would be too squashed and neither would be either to work fully. ...read more.

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