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Poems from other cultures

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Introduction

"Poems from other cultures" Both poems, 'Hurricane hits England' and 'Search for my tongue' explore the importance of feeling confident with your identity. Furthermore, how it seems to have changed once they settled in another country, facing modern cultures. The arrival of a hurricane in England, which tends not to occur usually triggers thoughts about the writer's experiences/life in the Caribbean, on the other hand. The opening line from 'Hurricane hits England' shows that the poet has triggered thoughts about her past. This makes her reflect about life at home in the Caribbean. The following two lines, "Half the night she lay awake, the howling ship of the wind", I believe she is using the ship as a metaphor to show how the storm carries memories. I also think she is reflecting on when a ship carried her from her homeland when she may have been vulnerable due to slavery in the past one-two centuries. Later she says, "Like some dark ancestral spectre, fearful and reassuring". This is very contradictory; also known as a paradox. The second stanza the poet's mood, changes she is rather abrupt with short instructions to African gods, this is highlighting her culture as well. ...read more.

Middle

Also, the word used by the poet "unchained" is relevant to slavery as slaves were chained in earlier times, this choice of vocabulary is important. The poet is emphasising this idea as she has left it as a one-lined stanza, making the point short and sharp. Later, in stanza seven her mood has changed considerably it is though she has accepted her identity and is extremely confident, the use of repetition also proves this. The start of 'Search for my Tongue' is similar to 'Hurricane hits England' as she triggers thoughts about her identity, in this case her "mother tongue", which is her first language. The poet uses the word "you", this grabs the reader's attention far more than 'Hurricane hits England'. This is because it is gripping the reader into the poem and maybe trying to get the reader to compare their feelings. She says, "If you had two tongues in your mouth" this is referring to identity again, this is symbolising you can have your original language as well as a second language, which happened when she emigrated. With the poet describing both languages this proves no one can get rid of their old language, it is in their heritage. ...read more.

Conclusion

The final line uses a group of three repetitions, which shows confidence. The poet also is understanding the meaning of life; a realisation point of the poem. Finally on 'Search for my tongue', the use of imagery with the flower is fully extended as she makes use of it throughout the last stanza. The line "The bud opens, the bud opens in my mouth" proves she is referring to a flower swell as her language. It first starts to rot then blossom, this is a positive association and proves she has grasped her mother tongue after such a long time after emigration to another country. When she remembers her language it seems to blossom out of her mouth, however when it wasn't used before, it seemed to have rotted. Therefore she needed to keep a balance. Towards the end of both poems they both show a positive association, both using imagery which is a key point to these poems. Both poems have a realisation point which make sure they both have understood their identity and it is not to be forgotten. Even though the poets think identity is fragile however so important for not only their culture however their own life. Satpal Johal 10PTM ...read more.

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