She moved to England when she was a few months old, and grew up in Hertfordshire. In these poems she imagines what it would have been like never to have left, to have grown up in Pakistan rather than having left and become a different person. She has written translations or versions of the poetry of the French poet Jules Supervielle, as well as taking on the myth of Europa. Climb onto his back, the air seemed to say.
It is set in the past, the speaker recalling the time she received the gifts. So essentially this poem is an exploration of cultural identity within a series of memories. The poem highlights in some detail a specific time the gifts themselves and uses metaphor and simile to explore the identity issue.
The gifts she receives, vividly coloured traditional Pakistani clothes, bangles and shoes, both delight and confuse her. They set off a train of thoughts, feelings and memories that take the speaker all the way from England to Pakistan and back, restless energy reflected in the poem's structure, especially the line breaks.
Above all, it is a person-centred poem, autobiographical. As the poet herself says: The clothes seem to stick to her in an uncomfortable way, a bit like a kind of false skin, and she thinks things aren't straightforward for her.
Confusion is almost inevitable when you consider that the clothes we wear can influence the way we think and act and see ourselves - this speaker is split between cultures and so feels a push me pull you effect. Many of Moniza Alvi's poems deal with this issue of cultural identity.
Having been born in Pakistan she sailed to England when a young child and so experienced a totally alien culture at a time when she must have been highly impressionable. This feeling of alienation comes through strongly in her work and especially in this poem.
She now lives in England and so feels kind of stuck in between the two cultures. The gifts include the traditional dress of Pakistan, the salwar kameez, a brightly coloured costume that makes the speaker feel inadequate.
It is 'glistening like an orange split open' a suitable simile which enhances the idea of excitement and goodness. There is a lot of detail in this poem, a visual wealth, the speaker carefully noting the different colours and elaborate design of the clothes.
This reflects the strength of the culture and the connection the speaker has to Pakistan and her family there. As a teenager she notices the fashion change - same for the west and for the east - but the emphasis is on her identity being confused.
The more detail the reader receives about the gifts, the more the speaker's identity is challenged. She feels attracted to Pakistan but also overwhelmed. When she puts the costume on there is no feeling of freedom or confidence. The bangles produce blood and the interesting word 'aflame' causes some alarm.
Being half-English she feels restrained and uncomfortable.
For all her confusion there is something about Pakistan and its exotic traditions that attracts her. The camel-skin lamp for sure, despite the associations of cruelty she always admired the colours. This ambivalence is reflected in the language used.
Consider glistening, lovely, radiant and conflict, fractured, throbbing. Her love of the colours and the materials, their radiance and splendour, is challenged by the fact that Pakistan has become 'a fractured land' full of divisions and violence.
The way the poem is structured adds to the notion of an unsettled person. Lines are indented and white gaps appear; dashes add to the uncertainty. Reading this poem is a challenge because there are uneasy gaps between lines which cause pauses, both long and short.
And there is an emphasis on the personal. Note the number of times lines start with I I tried, I could never, I longed, I couldn't, I wantedEnglish Anthology Analyses Edexcel IGCSE - Download as Word Doc .doc /.docx), PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online.
a term which Auden explores by making the narrator An Unknown Girl by Moniza Alvi Moniza Alvi was born in Pakistan (Her father was a Pakistani and her5/5(5).
Moniza Alvi's Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan Essay - Moniza Alvi's Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan Moniza Alvi was born in Lahore, in Pakistan, the daughter of a Pakistani father and an English mother.
She moved to Hatfield in England when she was a few months old. An Unknown Girl by Moniza Alvi Words Feb 26th, 7 Pages Throughout the poem, Alvi makes use of structure techniques like end-stopped lines, occasional rhymes, language, imagery, and changes in tone to explore different aspects of the concept of identity.
Many of the poems in Moniza Alvi's Europa relate to ancient and modern traumas, including enforced exile, alienation, rape and 'honour killing'. Its centre-piece is a re-imagining of the story of the rape of Europa by Jupiter as a bull.
A Comparison of Two Poems Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan by Moniza Alvi and Search for my Tongue by Sujata Bhatt In this essay, I will be showing you how the writers use their own poetic devices within their work to their advantage and how the poets have used different themes to overcome in their own poems.
Moniza Alvi's Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan Moniza Alvi was born in Lahore, in Pakistan, the daughter of a Pakistani father and an English mother. She .