Search for my tongue, by Sujata Bhatt - Cluster 2 :)

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  • Created by: Emma
  • Created on: 17-05-11 17:09

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Search for my tongue is a poem based around identity again. It shows the
conflict the poet is facing because she knows two languages.
It is structured in 3 clear parts. This shows her divided identity.
In the first stanza the poet uses `'I'' and `'me'' a lot which makes the tone very
conversational, and makes the reader feel involved in the poem making them feel
more connected.
The poet uses extended metaphors to express how the two languages clash, and how
she feels that she is almost betraying her first language by not using it. The poet
cannot use her first language much because she lives in England, which makes her feel
far away and separated from it and her culture.
She calls her 1st language (Gujarati) her `mother tongue'. She calls it her mother
tongue because it shows that she values it more, and wants the reader to know that
this is the language that means most to her, and wants them to understand how
proud she is of it.
"your mother tongue would rot, rot and die in your mouth" ­ the repetition of `rot'
emphasises the word and the horrible image. She wants you to understand how she
The repetition of `'spit it out'' also emboldens the fact the poet is trying to get you to
imagine how you would feel if you had to get rid of your first language, and how hard
it would be for you.
The poem then goes into Gujarati (with phonetic spelling) to show the diverse
contrast between the two languages. This emphasises how confused the poet must
The 3rd stanza is then the `translation' of the Gujarati.
She uses an extended metaphor of her mother tongue being like a flower, growing out
of her mouth and `blossoming' which portrays a pleasant image in the readers head
This finishes the poem on a good note, as the poet has now discovered that her
mother tongue/first language will always be with her.


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