In both poems, Search For My Tongue and Hurricane Hits England, the authors are talking about being caught having more than one culture. We can see this from many different perspectives. First, where they begin to explain their story and trauma in short concentrated pieces of text and secondly where it shows that they are quite obviously unhappy and confused about their life. Evidence for this in Search For My Tongue is in lines three to six where she says ‘I ask you, what would you do if you had two tongues in your mouth, and lost the first one, the mother tongue and could not really know the other’ this tells us that she is very confused, desperate and would take help of anyone, it also tells us that she is unsure about what plan of action to take next. Evidence for this theory in Hurricane Hits England is where she says ‘it took a hurricane to bring her closer, to the landscape, half the night she lay awake’, this also shows us that in her story and experiences, she has deep thought about her situation and problems.
This one theory doesn’t itself show us that there may be a positive experience right now, but what it does show us and hint to us is that the poem may follow on and tell us a different outcome, slightly more positive if we were to guess, I gathered this when she said ‘it took a hurricane to bring her closer’ this is both a positive and a negative thing due to the fact that it shows us that she has had a negative experience but the outcome has been positive in her perspective and opinion. I have also thought this because this is just the start of the poem and in both poems, the topics change quite frequently, which gives us an insight into believing that anything could happen. Furthermore, it shows us that also, with the strong range of writing techniques, it is used in a way to show us that the topic is uncomfortable for her to discuss/write about, using paradox, metaphors, similes and more.
I think that in both poems, the authors seem extremely stressed and desperate for us to straight away realise what they are going through, because for them, this is a huge problem, they know their difficulties and problems in and out and basically, we don’t; we are only just reading it and have no idea about anything they are going through. They write in such an assertive manner, the reader straight away realises that the writers in a way expect us to know their situation as well as they do, just from reading a short poem. The evidence for this in search for my tongue is on the first line where Sujata Bhatt says ‘you ask me what I mean’ this suggests to me that she is surprised that we don’t entirely understand what seems to be a simple topic to understand for her, a very complex topic to understand for us, this part directly relates to my latest theory.
More evidence comes through in Hurricane hits England as she takes full advantage of the question mark which comes across in some cases like she is talking to/asking someone she knows well, and who would be able to answer her question. The reader we can understand this more where she says ‘o why is my heart unchained? ‘Which is directly to the reader, and ‘tell me why you visit an English coast? ‘, these questions are to the Caribbean Gods, which is very personal and also it suggests to me that maybe one or even both of the poets are becoming more and more desperate for absolutely any kind of help with her problems and are gradually running out of patience. For example, where Sujata Bhatt expects us to know who she is and what she is going through, where she seems angry and that she has had enough of her stress and issues. More evidence for this comes in search for my tongue where Sujata Bhatt cuts out a whole bit of her poem and says it in her own language – this even deeply emphasises my point and shows us more that she suddenly may not feel confident enough to disclose a part of her story so easily – she has left it for us to work out ourselves. The other reason could be that she is, as said before, worn out, tired, upset, angry and has totally had enough of everything.
I think in both poems the authors use metaphorical speech for effects and slightly also to hide their most uncomfortable topics with fantasy like ideas and conclusions (by putting human like features into plants and trees etcetera). The evidence for this in search for my tongue is where Sujata Bhatt uses her language and culture as her tongue and explains her ‘tongue’ with adjectives most known used to describe plants; the evidence is ‘your mother tongue would rot, rot and die in your mouth, grows moist, grows strong veins, the bud opens, it blossoms out of my mouth’, this shows how many uses she has for metaphorical speech In her poem. This also helps us understand how her problem has taken over her life, with her tongue ‘dying’, it will render her unable to communicate by speech, and speech communication is such a vital part of life.
To summarise, I think she thinks that most of her life has gone and the evidence for this in hurricane hits England is where Grace Nicholls says things like ‘o why is my heart unchained’ and uses phrases like ancestral rage – which obviously a hurricane cannot have, only humans and fantasy like creatures can have. ( this basically shows a Fearful start of the poem, and then is shows that it is reassuring as the poem clears to an end). This is contradicting herself but if we look more deeply, the poet is using a technique called paradox. There is more evidence of my point where grace Nicholls says “Come to break the frozen lake in me”, this suggests that she doesn’t exactly want to explain it for the readers; she wants us to decipher what she is saying through using our own initiative and by doing this I think she might feel uncomfortable to tell us, from using my own initiative, I have figured that what she means by ‘ Come to break the frozen lake in me ‘, is that she is very troubled and she feels that the problem cannot be solved by herself, someone or something else needs to come and help.
Through this point, I have noticed another; I think that throughout the poem we can see that at the start, the poets are very unconfident and scared, but at the end of the poem they are very confident and easily able to share their stories, this shows me that maybe their problems have resolved themselves, with the hurricane in Hurricane Hits England and her own realisation skills in Search For My Tongue. This relates to my metaphorical speech point as when the authors are scared at the start, they use this type of technique. So not only has the experiences the authors have gone through made them feel confused and worried, happy and relieved, but it has left them feeling confident and open. Evidence for this in search for my tongue is
‘It grows back, a stump of a shoot
grows longer, grows moist, grows strong veins’
‘It blossoms out of my mouth.’
This shows us how calm and collected Bhatt is while telling the end of her story. The evidence in hurricane hits England is,
Ah, sweet mystery,
Come to let me know,
that the earth is the earth is the earth.
This also shows us how calm and collected Nicholls is after telling her story
In summary, I think that from the points I have made, it is starting to show some positivity as she is telling her story openly, but in a concealed way (which is very clever) (concealed way refers to using metaphorical speech).
To conclude the whole answer of the poem I think that being caught between two cultures is mixed in positivity; I can see this from the points I have made, which link up and show us that it is very negative at the start of the poems and then slowly becomes positive as the poem goes on, at the start of the poem the authors give us a hint that it will become positive and so this develops the main structure of the poem. The poem then has an aim in our minds and we can decipher easily how to understand some aspects of the poem.