culture and feeling of poets, Grace Nichols, Moniza Alvi and Sujata Bhatt

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Bansri Sodha

Many people of different races immigrate to another country. What are the feelings of these exiles? Choose three poems and explain how the poets make you understand their feelings.

The three poets, Grace Nichols, Moniza Alvi and Sujata Bhatt have experienced the loss of cultural identity. Culture is part of someone’s beliefs and feelings. Culture is important to these immigrates as it is part of their identity. The three poems ‘Hurricane hits England’, ‘Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan’ and ‘Search for my Tongue’ all show feelings of cultural alienation and explore being an immigrant. The

poems also use a secondary theme to express the poet’s feelings of isolation, alienation, confusion and separation. For example, the secondary theme in ‘Hurricane hits England’ is the 1987 hurricane. My objective is to analyse the three poems and explain how the poets present their feelings.

Grace Nichols, the writer of ‘Hurricane hits England’, was born in 1950 in Georgetown, Guyana, where she grew up with a strong sense of cultural identity. She moved from her homeland in 1977, to London, England. The poem is autobiographical and Grace got her inspiration for writing ‘Hurricane hits England’ from the 1987 hurricane that awakened her culture. Grace shows how important her culture is towards her by using quotes such as, ‘Talk to me Huracan…’, which is where she is talking to the Weather Gods.

Before the storm, Grace felt culturally alienated, so when the hurricane hit, she was confused because she thought hurricanes belonged on the Caribbean not England, ‘Ah, sweet memory/Come to break the frozen lake in me’. This shows Grace welcomes its appearance. Though she also felt angry because it took something so destructive to bring back her culture, so she starts questioning the weather Gods, ‘What is the meaning of old tongues reaping in new places’.

Grace uses both positive and negative language, to describe how she is feeling. For example, she uses words like ‘howling’, ‘rage’ and ‘dark’ to show her negative feelings towards the hurricane, and words such as ‘tropical’ and aligning’ to show her positive feelings. In the title ‘Hurricane hits England’, the word ‘hits’ is significant, as it shows that the hurricane is awakening her culture. She also uses words that link back to her homeland, like ‘roots’ and ‘trees’.

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The structure of ‘Hurricane hits England’ is in uniformed lines. This is because the hurricane has brought back Grace’s culture, so everything is in place like her cultural identity.

In the poem, Grace uses natural imagery to express her feelings. The main source she uses is the hurricane. The phrase ‘gathering rage’ shows Grace was furious with the hurricane. She also uses other natural imagery within the poem, like ‘trees’ and ‘whales’, to continue expressing her feelings towards her culture and experiences, and words like ‘roots’ link back to her motherland.

Grace has also used additional successful ...

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