Search for my tongue
A virtual part of who you are and your identity is the way you speak your voice. Your voice makes you individual; your voice is your expression of yourself; it shows your personality; couldn't communicate with others without it.
This is individual to Bhatt; its her personal voice but it is also universal; its impicable to others (all those who have two languages)
"Tongue" refers both to the physical organ we use for speech, and the language we speak with it. Bhatt writes about the "tongue" in boths ways at once.
She argues that you cannot use both together. She suggests, further that if you live in a place where you must "speak a foreign tongue" then the mother tongue will "rot and die in your mouth."
..search for my tongue continued
As if to demonstrate how this works, Bhatt rewrites lines 15 and 16 in Gujarati, followed by more Gujurati lines, which are given in English as the final section of the poem. For readers who do not know the Gujurati script, there is also a phonetic transcript using appoximate english spelling to indicate the sounds.
Clearly, this poem is about personal and cultural identity. The familiar metaphor of the tongue is used in a novel way to show that losing ones language (and culture) is like losing a part of ones body.
The poets dream may be something she has really dreamt "overnight" but is clearly also a dream in the sense of something she wants to happen - in dreams if not reality, it is possible for the body to regenrate.
For this reason the poem's ending is ambiguous - perhaps it is only in her dream that the poet can find her "mother togue" On the other hand, she may be argueing that even when she thinks she has lost it, it can be found again
Ironic suggestions of things only being half present.
Though the term ''half caste'' is rarely heard today, Agard is perhaps right to attack the idea behind it - that mixed race people have something missing.
Though th epoem is light hearted in tone, the arguement of the last six liens is very serious, and has a universal application: we need to give peoplel our full attention and respect, if we are to deserve to hear their whole story.
The form of the poem is related to its subject, as Agard uses 'non standard english' in the form of 'afro carribean patois'
This shows how he stands outside mainstream British culture.
The poem is colloquial, written as if spoken to someone with imperatives (commands) like "EXPLAIN YUSELF" and questions like "WHA YU MEAN"