The two poems “Search for my tongue” and “Not my business” are both written by poets from very different backgrounds and cultures, looking to get their point across. Bhatt emphasises in his poem the on-going concerns of dying traditional languages and the fact that if you learn a new language, your old language could fade away. Osundare a Nigerian poet describes the growth of tyranny and if people ignore this growth, the tyranny will grow and grow till you become directly involved with it, Osundare’s poem is based upon Pasto Neimaller’s speech about Nazis in WWI and how they forcibly removed Jews from their homes.
Both the poems adopt irregular poetic structures to the more “traditional” way. Bhatt writes the poem “Search for my tongue” as if it were a speech, speaking to the reader and telling the reader about issues that he faces as a dialect. There are no separate verses, just one long verse split up by phonetic translation of Gujarati. Enjambment is also used to maker poem flow much easier, increasing feeling that he is talking to us. Osundare writes the poem like a native Nigerian song with a repetition of the chorus ” What business it is of mine, so long as they don’t take the yam from my savouring mouth”.
At the end of the first three verses he denies that what is happening around is his business, but ironically the same fate that he has been saying is none of his business befalls him and it is now becomes “his business” at the end of the poem. At the beginning of the poem ” Search for my tongue” she talks about loosing her mother tongue, she uses negative verbs like “rot”, “die” and “split”. At the end of the poem when she is talking about her mothers tongue returning she uses positive verbs like “grows”, “opens” and “blossoms”, which give the effect that she is happy about remembering her mothers tongue.
Bhatt cleverly uses phonetics to help the reader understand what it is like to learn a new language such as Gujarti. This is an unusual device in a poem and makes the poem more interesting for the reader. In the poem ” Not my business” a similar technique is used whit the poet using negative words to describe treatment of his friends suffered by the militants. He uses “beat”, “booted” and “sacked” to describe the treatment and repeats word “no” three times in one sentence; this makes the reader realise that he does feel for these people, however he still does not feel it his business.
The main imagery in ” Search for my tongue” is of a person with two tongues in their mouth, one their mother tongue, in this case Gujarati, and one a second language. Towards the end of the poem she has come to the conclusion the mother tongue will not die, but rather like a plant growing shoots, it will come alive again, that is a good example of a metaphor. In the poem “Not my business”, the imagery is mainly in describing the jeep, which is used to take people away, and is being used like a coffin.
The last line ” waiting, waiting in its usual silence. There is also some personification in the poem, where the waiting jeep has a belly. The poet’s hand is described as “hungry” and there is a “bewildered lawn”. To conclude it is clear poetry is no more a means of expressing traditional ideas but has now evolved, where people of different cultures can now express aspects of their cultures that make us think deeper about communities and the world on a whole. Therefore it is fair to say through poetry the breaking down of cultures and traditions is possible. Lastly from the comparing of two cultural poems we could say that all cultures are fundamentally built up on same ideas.