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Explore the feelings of two of the poets who now live in England but have their roots in another culture.

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Explore the feelings of two of the poets who now live in England but have their roots in another culture. 'Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan' and 'Hurricane Hits England' are two poems where the poets describe their new life in England but remember important connections with their past in the country where they were born. Grace Nicholls was born and brought up in the British colony of Guyana, but moved to England when she was 27. In her poem, 'Hurricane Hits England' she describes the effect of the violent storm, which hit England in 1987 and how this storm, awakened links with her past. Moniza Alvi was born in Pakistan and moved to England when she was a child. ...read more.


The reference to "sweet mystery" suggests that the storm - although mysterious and not normally associated with England - is in fact welcoming. Moniza Alvi also uses imagery in her poem to describe the exotic colours and textures of her clothes: the "salwar kameez Peacock blue, And another Glistening like an orange split open" and "Candy-striped glass bangles" unfortunately seemed "alien" to her. However, the clothes represented a link with her past and although her school friend was not impressed she "admired the mirror work" of the "lovely" clothes. The clothes and other presents create a longing for her past, she tries to picture her "birthplace" and at the end of the poem Alvi imagines herself back, "staring through fretwork At the Shalimar Gardens." ...read more.


She has come to love and admire England as much as the Caribbean and is thankful for the storm for reminding her of her roots. Both poets seem to be describing personal experiences; therefore their poems could be considered autobiographical. Alvi said that she added the fictional account of her school friend to help express her own internal battle with coping with two different cultures. The poet has been torn between two cultures but has learned to appreciate both cultures. Nicholls suggests that the storm has broken "the frozen lake" in her, she has been uprooted from her "foundations", her past, and has come to realise that, although she has strong connections with the Caribbean, she now feels at home in England. The physical presence of the storm, for Nicholls, and the presents, for Alvi, have provided vital links and both poets appreciate their past and present cultures. ...read more.

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