Analysing Poems - Search for My Tounge

Topics: Cholmondeley Award, British poets, Moniza Alvi Pages: 2 (383 words) Published: February 23, 2012
Search for my tongue

- The poem starts off as being calm. As the poem goes on Sujata Batt seems frustrated and angry.

- The words ‘rot’, ‘die’ and ‘spit out’ suggest that she is scared about losing her original language, or her ‘mother tongue’

- After Sujata Batt does a Guajarati speech, the poem all of a sudden gets more positive ‘it grows back’ she uses the words ‘longer’, ‘moist’, ‘strong’, ‘bud’ and ‘blossom’ which imply that she realised she can have two languages at the same time.

- Sujata Batt uses many metaphors to describe her confusion over her identity. For example,‘ it grows back, a stump of a shoot’


- John Agard repeats the words ‘explain yuself’ which creates a rhetorical question immediately.

- this poem exaggerates the anger John Agard has of people calling him ‘half-caste’ which, suggests that he’s only half of a person. Which he describes throughout the poem.

- Line 25; John Agard explains that a black key and a white key results in a ‘half caste symphony’. This suggests that being mixed race is a good thing and creates a nice person, like a piano with black keys and white keys does.

- From line 30 onwards John Agard really begins to put his point across by saying: ‘I’m sure you’ll understand why I offer yu half-a-hand’ this line suggests that being called ‘half-caste’ is like being called ‘half a person’

Presents from my aunts in Pakistan

- Moniza Alvi starts the poem with a similie. This similie suggests that she’s unsure and not happy with her two, very different cultures.

- The structure of the poem is a bit ‘all over the place’ which may have something to do with her confusion about where her loyalties should lie according to her two cultures.

- Moniza Alvi suggests in like 20 that she’s embarrassed when she wears her Pakistani clothes. This is shown when she refers to wearing the clothes to ‘my costume’ creating an image in the readers head that...
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