Where's the first place you look if you ever lose your tongue? If you're like us, you check with the cat first. We all know that's a safe bet to start with. If it's not there, then we look under the couch, or maybe between the sofa cushions. And if that still doesn't work, then we activate our "Find My Tongue" app and hope for the best.
Okay, you probably don't lose your tongue very often. Not literally, at least.
If you're like Sujata Bhatt, looking for your tongue is something far more metaphorical—and far less trivial—than a figure of speech. The tongue is actually a super-important part of the body when you think about it. It shapes our words and grounds us in familiar speech patterns. But what happens when those patterns turn strange?
Bhatt would be a good person to ask about that experience. Raised in India, educated in the U.S., having worked in Canada, and now living in Germany, she's been exposed to several languages and so she's used to training her tongue to make new sounds. That process isn't without an emotional toll, though, which is the subject of her poem "Search for My Tongue."
This poem actually appeared in Bhatt's first collection, Brunizem, which was published in 1988. Trivia note: "brunizem" is the name of the fertile soil found in North America, Europe, and Asia—making it the perfect title of a book that reflects on the Bhatt's experiences living in each of these places at one point or another.
As "Search for My Tongue" reflects, those experiences can be alienating and challenging, but they can also reaffirm what home feels and sounds like—especially in terms of the words you speak. Sometimes your true connection to home can be hiding in plain sight—or, you know, just behind your teeth.
The words we choose say a lot about us, don't they? Think about it: if you told someone that you were going back to your "crib," one group of people might understand that you were headed home. Another group, though, might think you still slept in some kind of weird, giant baby bed.
This shows us that words do more than just describe the world around us. They connect us—to each other and, in a real way, to ourselves. Sometimes, though, these connections are broken, and the words we once held dear become useless and strange.
Millions of people know this feeling, because they live in a country where their home language is not spoken. They have to get around every day with essentially a "borrowed" language. This means that their connections to their surroundings—people included—are, to say the least, strained.
If you haven't ever experienced this, then you're one of the lucky ones. At the same time, though, if that's true then you've probably never stopped to think about how important your language really is to you. How do you use it? To whom does it connect you?
These are the kinds of questions that "Search for My Tongue" confronts, exploring the ways in which that pink thing that hangs out in your mouth all day is really more like a bridge, leading back to your true roots and identity. So stop wagging it around for a second and dive into this poem. You'll come away with a new appreciation for all those words in your mouth. You might even respond with a "Word up" yourself.
Comparing Half Caste and Search for my Tongue Essay example
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Comparing Half Caste and Search for my Tongue
Culture. It’s a very complicated term, with many different interpretations, but what does it actually mean? 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? Everyone has a different view on culture, but to me it is a huge influence on our everyday lives, many different issues contribute to the term ‘Culture’ from the way we dress, to our beliefs, attributes, how we live, and
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For example, John Agard was originally from Guyana but moved to
England in 1977, his mother was Portuguese but born in Guyana and his father is black. One of the things he likes about living in England is the wide range of people he meets: “The diversity of cultures here is very exciting”. He is very passionate about his culture and gets highly agitated by the view of racial origins, which is implied in the word ‘Half-Caste’. This term is now considered rude and insulting.
The other poem that I am studying is Search for my Tongue by Sujata
Bhatt; once again I have done some preliminary research just to get a feel for the author herself. I was able to find out that; Sujata Bhatt was born in the Indian state of Gujarat, where her ‘mother tongue’ was
Gujarati. Later, her family lived for some years in the United States, where she learned English. She now lives in Germany. She has chosen to write poems in English, rather than Gujarati. But a number of her poems, including the one I am studying, are written in both languages.
In an interview with the BBC she says, “I have always thought of myself as an Indian who is outside India”. Her mother tongue is for her an important link to her family, and to her childhood, “That’s the deepest layer of my identity”, and therefore is a very sensitive issue for her.
Now for the difficult information, what are the poems about?! I