Cultural identity, it is a thing which represents you; represents who you are; what you are; it gives you a background; without cultural you are a blank page and it is the thing which you cannot leave… because when you leave it, you leave yourself. Basically my essay is based about two poems that lost their own identity, about two poems where they are searching for themselves and the thing which I will do is just write their unspoken arguments inside them. The poems which I have chosen are “Search for my tongue” and “Half caste”.
The reason behind choosing them are because both of the poems are in a hunt, hunt for their identity, a search which tells us who they are and what they are looking for. Both of the poems tells us about their arguments and what they fell about their current situation… which they are annoyed of, and after reading both of these poems I guarantee that at leat once, “What does cultural identity means? ” will knock your mind. “Search for my tongue” a heart touching poem by Sujata Bhatt, a poem which reveals her frozen tongue. The tongue which she has lost and trying find it back.
Sujata is in a situation where she wants to speak her mother tongue… but she can’t. In Sujata’s interpretation she tells us that her mother tongue is almost dead and rotten in her mouth and I get this information via the first stanza on the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth lines where Sujata quotes “And if you lived in a place where you had to speak a foreign tongue, your mother tongue would rot, rot and die in your mouth. ” These lines gives me a clear image of the situation she is in, where she is in search for her tongue and she still dreams to get her mother tongue back, she wants to speak it loudly, the way she wants…
but only in her dreams… not in real life. Sujata used rhetorical questions as her key poetic device as she asked plenty of questions throughout the poem, some questions which we cannot answer, and it made a superior effect on the readers as she is melting her arguments via the poem and she makes us fell her current position as it quotes on the first stanza, on the third, fourth and fifth lines which declares “I ask you, what would you do, if you had two tongues in your mouth, and lost the first one…
the mother tongue” these lines made me fell her current state, a situation where she has no way out, at the moment Sujata is helpless and she has nothing to do except for making us understanding the essence of having two tongues. The structure of the is vastly interesting in addition as she made an contract via using her own language (Gujarati) in the middle of the poem which tells us that she wants to use her mother tongue and she loves it and the use of Gujarati in between of the poem will also catch the attraction of the readers as it looks very appealing and it is quite rarely seen additionally.
John Agard’s; “Half caste”, this is a poem which notifies Agard’s anger with the word “Half caste”, a word which knocks him consistently. He is looking forward for an answer which is “What do you mean by the word half caste? ” in this poem Agard shares his interpretation about the phrase “Half Caste”. Agard thinks the word “Half caste” does not have a proper meaning, as he tells us in his first stanza and the first six lines on the second stanza, as he extracts “Excuse me standing, on one leg!
I’m half caste; explain yuself, wha yu mean, when yu say half caste, yu mean when Picasso mix red on green, in a half caste canvas? ” These line sums up the poet’s content as his main agenda in this poem is to know, “What is half caste? ” To me the first stanza is the heart of the poem where it quotes “Excuse me… standing one leg, I’m half caste” these lines attract the readers very much because he scored the goal via the first stanza as the reader can get a clear image of the content of the poem and his annoyance as well.
The poetic device which I have chosen to explore Agard’s poem is repetition. Agard uses stacks of repetition throughout the poem especially the word “Half caste”. He is using this particular word for countless times and I think the reason behind repeating this word is because he wants to make us understand that what do people mean by the word “Half caste”. Actually what is half caste, he is quite confused with this word, is it the weather which is half caste?