Search for My Tongue is about the conflict between the poet’s first language, Gujarati and the foreign language she now uses, English. The poet is worried that she will lose her first language but she remembers it in her dreams and the language comes out as extended metaphor.
Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan is about a girl who has grown up in England, who talks about the presents from her aunts in Pakistan. She loves the gifts but is uncomfortable using or wearing them. She is unsure of her identity.
In Search for my Tongue, the poem starts with a challenging tone, “You ask me what I mean,” sounds like she is answering a question. “Lost my tongue” could mean that she has lost her ...view middle of the document...
The bright colours of the Pakistani clothes contrasted with the clothes she is used to seen in line 21, “denim and corduroy,” the poet is more comfortable with the plainness of English clothes than the startling colours of the salwar kameez. The poet tells us that even though she liked the foreign clothes she felt uncomfortable wearing them, she also felt peer pressure as her school friend wasn’t impressed with her clothes, in the end she feels like she doesn’t belong to either culture and feels like an outsider.
In search for my tongue there is a lot of metaphorical language, the first time it appears in the poem is “two tongues in your mouth”, which gives us the image of two tongues in one mouth and represents someone speaking two languages. The next time it occurs is “You could not use them both together” which show the conflict between the two languages. In the last section of the poem most of the section consists of extended metaphor about plants and languages.
grows longer, grows moist, grows strong veins,
it ties the other tongue in knots,”
The mother tongue is described as if it’s a growing plant. The repetition of the word ‘grows and ‘strong’ makes the tongue sound healthy, like its growing up or repairing itself, the poet also uses the image of two tongues competing in the mouth. “It pushes the other tongue aside.” The poet makes the mother tongue sound like part of nature, with a life and strength of its own. “It blossoms out of my mouth.” The plant metaphor is completed with the image of the plant bursting into a flower, and the poet remembering and speaking her mother
The poem also uses repetition and monosyllables, the words “rot, spit it out and the bud opens,” are repeated to strengthen the horrible image or in the latter case it is repeated for a sense of wonder and suspense. The monosyllables “spit, rot, die and spit.” Are used for effect to show you an unpleasant image.
The second section in the poem is completely different from the rest of the poem, the Gujarati language is spelt out phonetically in English so we can read it out and hear how it sounds aloud. Its shows us the poets mother tongue visually, and emphasises its difference from English.
The poem is quite positive as in the end she comes to terms with...