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GCSE: Sujata Bhatt: from Search For My Tongue
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Poetry Analysis Tatamkhulu Afrika: Nothing's Changed, Sujata Bhatt: from Search for My Tongue, Tom Leonard: from Unrelated Incidents, Derek Walcott: Love after Love
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.
- Word count: 4989
is like losing part of one's body. The poet's dream may be something she has really dreamt "overnight" but is clearly also a "dream" in the sense of something she wants to happen - in dreams, if not in reality, it is possible for the body to regenerate. For this reason the poem's ending is ambiguous - perhaps it is only in her dream that the poet can find her "mother tongue". On the other hand, she may be arguing that even when she thinks she has lost it, it can be found again.
- Word count: 3772
'A piece of art, as well as being a creation to be enjoyed, can also be a mirror...If a country or culture lacks such mirrors it has no way of knowing what it looks like, it must travel blind' (Margaret Atwood).
National identity refers to the identification with one's nation. This nation does not necessarily have to be the one in which they were born in. It could be where their parents are from, or even a nation that one feels passionate about and recognises oneself with having characteristics and attitudes similar to people from that nation. National identity can also mean the nature and character of a nation as a collective body. Poetry should be as Margaret Atwood says a 'creation to be enjoyed'.
- Word count: 4444
How do the poets represent the importance of 'roots' in their poetry? Consider how the social and cultural identity of the poets is paramount to the development of the main themes.
Moniza Alvi once said, "Growing up I felt that my origins were invisible, because there weren't many people to identify with in Hatfield at that time, of a mixed race background or indeed from any other race, so I felt there was a bit of a blank drawn over that. I think I had a fairly typical English fifties sixties upbringing". Isolation is specifically included in all the four poems. The poets all feel isolated because of their language and cultural differences to their surroundings.
- Word count: 3574
We unconsciously relate language to the tongue. How often have we said to people, 'Have you lost your tongue?' when they fail to give us an answer or when they remain silent? That's because the tongue is one of the crucial organs we use when speaking. The speaker here has taken a new slant on the question and has said her tongue has indeed been lost, but she means her mother language has been lost, not her physical tongue. The extended metaphor Notice as you read and study the poem that the whole extract builds on an extended metaphor - the physical tongue as a metaphor for language.
- Word count: 9630