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The original language is associated with being nurturing, protecting, loving. The poet feels it is not possible to fully understand or become completely part of another culture.'The choice of words makes the original language sound like something disgusting, like phlegm perhaps.
The attitude of the poet is difficult to read in this poem.
Clearly there is a sense of wonder about the re-flowering of the native language, and the imagery of rotting suggest some of the pain of losing access to your mother tongue. There is the conversational of the opening, the extended metaphor of language being like a plant, and there is also the use of Gujarati.
In this essay I will compare two poems from completely different cultures to see if we get any comparisons, the poems I have chosen to write about are Half-Caste by John Agard and Search for my Tongue by Sujata Bhatt, I have chosen these because I feel they raise some very significant points.
But back to the question mentioned earlier, what is culture?
In the following lines, Bhatt uses a metaphor, comparing the mother tongue to some kind of plant, and by implication, the foreign language to some kind of weed or parasite.
This imagery, taken from nature, is picked up in the final stanza where therotten stump of the mother tongue is imagined to grow again into a flower.
Now for the difficult information, what are the poems about?!
Sujata Bhatt's poem is about what it is like to live in a foreign country, feeling disconnected from your cultural background.
How might it help you to understand the poet's feelings?
Or it can be seen as using language to represent the struggle of colonial experience.