This poems theme bases itself on not judging people at face value and not putting people into ‘boxes’.
This poem to me seems less formal than Search For My Tongue even though they are both written in the first person.
they live in England but have an Indian/Pakistani heritage and background.
However Moniza Alvi in my opinion is ashamed or embarrassed about her background but Sujata Bhatt would like to learn more about her culture.
I have chosen three to compare, they are: Search For My Tongue, by Sujata Bhatt Half-Caste, by John Agard and Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan, by Moniza Alvi.
I chose these three poems because I feel that they all deal with different aspects of cultural identity.
“Your mother tongue would rot rot and die in your mouth until you had to spit it out The metaphor of a bud as the language growing is effective and the bud rotting tells me that she wants to remember but can’t.
the metaphor of the “tongue” instead of using the word language makes the language physical and makes the poem flow better. The metaphor mouth is just used to reinforce the “tongue” In the final stanza she says: “It grows back, a stump of a shoot Grows longer grows moist, grows strong veins” And “The bud open the bud opens in my mouth” The repetition of grows and bud show that she is ecstatic that she has remembered her language.
She will always be frowned upon by Pakistanis for being half English and vice versa.
In the poem she says “Half-English Unlike Aunty Jamila” But then she says “The presents were radiant in my wardrobe” Firstly indicating that she did not like the clothes then saying they were beautiful.