In both of the poems, ‘Search for my Tongue’ and ‘Blessing’ the poets use imagery in interesting ways to describe two totally different things; in Search for my tongue the poet uses the image of a plant to describe how the person’s first language comes back to her, and in Blessing the poet describes the water pipe bursting as a sort of miracle. The poem Search for my tongue is about how a student from America believes she has lost her first language because she has been speaking English since she was small.
Use of Imagery in the Poems
The poem asks us in the first section what would we do if we had two languages and lived in a place where we would have to speak the foreign language? She then answers this question by saying that the ‘mother tongue’ or first language would, “Rot and die in your mouth until you had to spit it out. ” This shows that the poet feels very strongly about loosing her original language. In the second section, which is written in Gujerati, it seems to be more poetic and flows better when reading it. The last section is describing how her first language the Gujerati has come back to her and describes it as how a flower would grow and blossom.
The poem Blessing is about how in a very dry and hot country where it hardly ever rains, where they imagine the smallest amount of water crashing into a tin mug the water pipe which runs through the village bursts and all the people rush towards it with every pot and pan they can carry. In Search for my Tongue the poet uses ‘tongue’ instead of ‘language’ so when the poet says, “if you had two tongues in your mouth and lost the first one” you get the image of two tongues in one mouth and then one of them falling out.
The poet also describes loosing her first language to a plant saying that her Gujarati has ‘rot’ and ‘died’. Rot and died are powerful words so they can give a powerful image of the poets language becoming less memorable (rot) and then forgetting it (died). In the last section there is a lot of imagery where the poet talks about her language coming back to her as a plant growing back. The poet writes, “it grows back, a stump of a shoot grows longer, grows moist, grows strong veins, it ties the other tongue in knots, the bud opens, the bud opens in my mouth.
” This is all describing how a plant would grow from when it was planted as a seed and is a good image to use of her language growing back as it describes every stage. In the quote it also repeats the word ‘grows’ creating a list effect The imagery in Blessing is used to good effect in the first line the poet writes, “the skin cracks like a pod” this says that the place where the people live in very hot and dry, it is also a painful image and is unpleasant as when pods break they usually just explode and the seeds inside them fly out.
The water is also described as silver, which says that the people believe it is very precious. In the poem different words are used which include; blessing, kindly god and congregation, these words are usually used when describing a religious ceremony, this can be interpreted to say that the people believe that when water comes to their village in any form, it is a miracle or a present from their god.