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Diverse Culture essay

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A comparison of two cultural poems by John Agard and Sujata Bhatt. The two poems that will be studied are: "Half Caste" by John Agard and "Search for my Tongue" by Sujata Bhatt. Agard has written his poem to raise awareness that mixed raced people are just as important as single coloured people. Agard was born on the 21st June 1949 in British Guyana. He worked as a journalist there before moving to England in 1977; where he worked as a: playwright, poet, short storey and children's author. He now lives in southeast England. Bhatt has written her poem because she wants to encourage people not to drop their mother tongue but to keep using it. She was born in India wit Gujarati being her native language; she writes many poems in both English and Gujarati. Bhatt learnt English when she moved to America with her family. She now lives in Germany. Agard's poem has an irregular structure; consisting of five stanzas, each of varied length. The first and last stanza may be undersized because the beginning is an introduction and the ending is similar to a final conclusion. Perhaps the second stanza is the longest because Agard dives into more detailed and explained points where he tries to understand what people mean by the word 'half caste'. ...read more.


would rot, Rot and die in your mouth This could create an image of someone with a really dry shrilled up tongue; this is quite disturbing and negative image, which actually follows a rather pessimistic first stanza. Then in the last stanza the poet brings some hope back to the reader using words from the same lexical set of nature: It grows back a stump of a shoot The bud opens, the bud opens in my mouth, It blossoms out of my mouth. These words particularly "grows" and "blossoms" give faith back to the reader as well as creating a very colourful image of an overjoyed person who is proud of their tongue with lots of striking plant life in the background. These words are very optimistic and positive which might reassure the reader, leaving them with final thoughts of happiness. Agard uses imagery again to make the reader understand that people who are mixed race are just as humane as anyone else: Yu mean when tchaikovsky Sit down at the piano An mix a black key Wid a white key When the reader hears tchaikovsky this may remind the of beautiful music. ...read more.


The first stanza is written in English; the second in Gujarati with the third being a translation of the Gujarati. The first, pessimistic, stanza talks about forgetting your native language; it ends by saying: But over night while I dream The poem then turns into Gujarati. This suggests that it is the poet's dream to remember Gujarati. Although t may mean that Bhatt literally had a dream where she remembered her language. From the translation you understand that the language comes back to you; by using Gujarati this emphasises that the language will come flooding back. Half-Caste is a very moving poem, which I still relevant in today's modern world; it reminds people that every human: black or white; fat or thin; tall or small has the rite to lead a peaceful and successful life. The lasting effect that you get from the poem is that all humans should try to get on and not fight or discriminate other people because of what they look like. Search for my Tongue is inspiring to its readers; it persuades them to never lose hope and not to give upon anything or anyone. It made me think twice about quitting French when I leave school and made me think that I should keep trying to reach my ambitions. Kyle McGrath 14th November 2006 10 Brown ...read more.

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  1. Compare and Contrast Search for my tongue and Half caste.

    They both feel different from the people they live with and they feel they have no place to call home. They both feel lost, confused with no identity. John Agard stands on one leg to get the audiences attention and Sujata Bhatt searches for her tongue, which means her language.

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