Referring To Poems From Different Cultures

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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. He believes that maybe someone would not take a working-class accent as seriously as someone with a BBC accent’, as he puts it.

‘Half-Caste’ describes John Agard’s displeasure with the term ‘half-caste’. He believes that having parents from different racial backgrounds does not make you half of everything. He is proud of what he is and is disgusted by being implied as being ‘half a person’ and not being treated the same. Being mixed race for him is being something special and being double instead of half.

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In ‘Search for My Tongue’, Bhatt describes the struggle between the two languages as two physical tongues fighting in her mouth. She says that you could not use them together and that “your mother tongue would rot, rot and die in your mouth, until you had to spit it out”. This gives a gruesome view of the fight between languages, and it is the way in which she feels the struggle is going. This strong expression gets the idea through and emphasises this by using imagery and repetition. Imagery is used a lot in the poem, both describing ...

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