Overview of Search for my Tongue by Sujatta Bhatt
About PERSONAL and CULTURAL IDENTITY. "Tongue"- METAPHOR (losing one's tongue (language) is like losing a part of one's body-both the physical organ used for speech and the language we speak with it- Writes in these both ways at once. To lose your tongue- not knowing what to say, but her explanation is losing one's tongue in another sense. She speaks for many who fear they have lost theiiir ability yto speak for themselves and their culture.
Imagery- two tongues- mother tongue (first language) and a second tongue. Argues you cannot use both together. If you live in a pace where you must "speak a foreign tongue" then the mother tnogue would "rot and die". How? She rewrites the middle verse in Gujarati, which are given in English in the final stanza of the poem. Phonetic Transcript- to indicate the sounds and suggest that the Gujarati phonetics are trapped within the foreign tongue.
We can feel for Bhatt and appreciate her sadness. TONE of poem SAD/ ANGRY to begin with, becomes more happy , as she discovers she has not lost her mother tongue.
Point of view- 1st PERSON- talking to reader directly.
Overview of Search for my Tongue by Sujata Bhatt
The final stanza of the poem is the writer's DREAM-1 Dreamt "overnight" but also a "dream" she wants to happen (body regenerates)- where her mother tongue grows back and "pushes the other tongue aside". She ends triumphantly asserting that "Everytime I think I;ve forgotten/I think I've lost the mother tonuge/it BLOSSOMS OUT OF MY MOUTH". Ending AMBIGUOUS, only in dream that she can find her mother tongue. However, she argues the case that when she thinks she had lost it, IT CAN BE FOUND AGAIN.
At end of poem- EXTENDED METAPHOR- where the regenrating tongue is likened to a PLANT vut back to a stump, which grows and eventually buds "BLOSSOMS OUT OF MY MOUTH"-as if her mother tongue is EXOTIC, FRAGRANT as a flower.
FORM- Flower metaphor for the tongue, used as a convensional metaphor for speech. She demonstartes this problem showing both MOTHER AND FOREIGNT TONGUE.
English and Gujarati- COEXIST----IRONIC, BOTH USED TOGETHER
LINK WITH- 'Presents from my aunts in Pakistan' - Language
- 'Unrelated Incidents' and 'Half-Caste'-Language, Phonetics, Identity and race, Non-Standard E.
HOW TO READ A POEM
WHAT IS IT ABOUT? IDEAS and ATTITUDES
What FORM is the poem written in- and WHY?
What are the poet's INTENTIONS in writing these poems and HOW do you know?
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