• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Referring To Poems From Different Cultures

Extracts from this document...


Poetry Essay: Referring To Poems From Different Cultures In this essay I will be comparing three poems, all concerning the social acceptance and positions of different cultures. The three poems are: 'Search For My Tongue' by Sujata Bhatt, 'Unrelated Incidents' by Tom Leonard and 'Half-Caste' by John Agard. The first one deals with he clash of languages, the second one with the seclusion of the lower class, and the third one with the controversial term of being 'half-caste'. 'Search For My Tongue' by Sujata Bhatt describes her fear of losing her mother tongue to a new language. She has moved away from her own country and now speaks her new language more than her native tongue, which she worries might 'rot and die' because of the struggle between the two languages. However, she is relieved when her mother tongue returns in her dreams. She imagines it as pushing away the other tongue, and she is delighted that she still remembers it. 'Unrelated Incidents' is about Tom Leonard's views on the separation between lower classes and upper and middle classes. He feels that a posh accent does not make you more important than someone with a 'common' accent. He believes that one's dialect should not affect the way people are judged, and if they are listened to or not. ...read more.


The poem is written in original, phonetic Glaswegian, using a lot of slang, and almost no punctuation. It speaks directly to the reader using colloquial words and very direct phrases ("belt up"). It explains the idea that many people believe that you should be judged on your accent and class. The poem seems to be read by a BBC newsreader that would normally have a "BBC accent". However, the poem is written in a normal speaking accent, in this case Glaswegian. Prejudices are also revealed, something that would not happen in real life, but this may be the kind of sub-text that appears when newsreaders read their copy. The poem itself explains and fights a serious issue in a humorous, satirical way. Is this the way the media actually see us "common scruff"? And why should an accent or a class define you as a person, at least in front of others? Leonard tells us that there is no 'right' way to speak, as he satirically says in the poem: "thirza right way ti spell ana right way to tok it" The point here is that a Glaswegian accent is just as 'correct' and respectable as a "BBC accent", and that an accent is just the way you speak, not the way you are. ...read more.


This is also almost "mixed language", just like being mixed race. The term "half-caste" kind of implies that they are second-class, which is what this goes against. The tone of the poem seems to start off being understanding but a little angry. He puts the racists on the spot by asking them to "explain [demselves]", like you would do if someone had hurt someone else, or committed a crime of some sort. He also uses humour to make it easier to read, and like Agard himself said: "Humour brakes down barriers" I.e. the barrier between people in this instance. Finally, I believe that the aim of the poem is to argue the case that being mixed race doesn't make you "half" of anything, you are exactly the same as everyone else. Agard wrote this poem to help people understand this. The three poems all explore the issues of cultural identity and the barriers between cultures and especially concerning language. "Search for my Tongue" explains a personal struggle (which some people can relate to) while "Unrelated Incidents" and "Half-Caste" explain issues on a wider scale involving global issues, with more scope. My favourite out of the three is "Unrelated Incidents" by Tom Leonard. He proves a lot of valid points and I agree with the statement he is making. Also, the humour in the poem is good, and something which I can personally relate to in many ways. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Comparing poems section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Comparing poems essays

  1. "Search for my tongue" and "Unrelated Incidents"

    Here Leonard articulates the point that the type of class you are in is not distinguished by your accent. In "Search for my tongue" there is a totally different language used, Gujarati. However in "Unrelated Incidents" the poet has used non-standard English.

  2. Compare the way Mary Casey and John Agard present identity in the Class Game ...

    Mix in the sky. Is a half-caste weather'; 'sit down at dah piano. An mix a black key wid a white key. Is a half-caste symphony.' This makes the reader and all the sorts of people who look down on the mixed nationality people guilty because they are great and

  1. `Compare Search for my tongue with Half-caste

    that it is being erased "your mother tongue would rot, rot and die your mouth". Bhatt compares that knowing two languages to having two tongues in your mouth, which she calls the "mother tongue" and the "foreign tongue". The phrase "lost my tongue" is used in a colloquial sense to

  2. English essay: "Piano and Drums."

    The Third stanza starts off describing the piano as "wailing," like a sad, mournful, trapped and out of tune instrument. This contrasts with the Drum which cannot be out of tune as it is an instrument played with instinct. This shows immediately that the European lifestyle is much more complex

  1. Search for My Tongue and Presents form My Aunts in Pakistan.Compare and Contrast The ...

    In "Search for My tongue" a powerful image shows the awkwardness of having two languages. An example would be "two tongues in your mouth". In this quotation she feels awkward in her mouth. As two tongues are in her mouth she feels muddle up and confused as she can't talk English and Guajarati at the same time.

  2. Comparing and Contrasting Poems

    towards the previous of his life; it shows that he has lived with loving parents, but this sudden turn of events has turned him helpless and an 'onlooker'. There are many similarities but one of the prominent ones is that both poets use a lot of irony especially Taufiq Rafat.

  1. Poetry Comparisons

    Finally I will be looking at the poem, 'Afternoons' by Philip Larkin. This poem is different from the other poems because it is an outside speculation of a relationship rather than, as in the others an insider's view. The main difference of this poem is that the writer, Philip Larkin, is making assumptions about the families and family life.

  2. on different cultures and traditions

    However in Sujata Bhatt's poem, 'Search for my tongue', she is saying how she thought, by living in a different country, than her homeland, she would forget all mother tongue and everything about her culture. A further variation, between the two poems, is that one poem is written all in

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work