Her reasons for writing Presents from My Aunts in Pakistan were to reflect on her feelings during her teenage years, concerning the cultural divide between England and Pakistan. It is here that we see our first contrast, not with the poem itself but with the personal feelings of each poet regarding how they dealt with the cultural differences. This contrast is related to the themes of each poem. Themes and Form The Blessing is about survival. It is concerned with highlighting issues related to countries in poverty.
We see a clear message, that there is a huge contrast between our Western world and the lives of people in the Diehard slum. The way it is set out on the page is clear and simple, making it easy to understand. I have previously discussed how the stanzas may cleverly represent flowing water in my analysis. Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan is more concerned with emotional feelings such as a search for a sense of belonging. It is not a life or death issue, but merely a teenagers struggle to cope with the inner conflicts faced whilst growing up in a Pakistani household in Britain.
With this poem we see the stanzas structured very differently. They lack uniformity and almost dance all over the page. This could be to symbolism the confusion and lack of belonging the poet feels. With both poems careful planning appears to have been used to portray the message not Just with the language but also the structure. Content We see a variety of contrasts in the two poems. The blessing is serious, religious, and concerned with demonstrating poverty. Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan is beautiful and reflective as well as heavy and deep.
Both poems contain references to Joy, prejudices, Racial and cultural issues and emotion. They are both devised to inform and educate the reader on cultural differences. Language Both poems make excellent use of the language available to them. The language in the Blessing is clever and visual as with Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan. The two also use descriptive language and lots of imagery, both also use current language. Tone There are very different tones in these two poems. The blessing starts heavy and serious. It is written this way to take hold of the reader and open up their mind.
The tone alters in the third to fourth stanza to reflect the Joy ND happiness that water brings. It is thankful and happy until the end of the last stanza, when it changes again to serious “over their small bones” highlighting the poverty, reminding the reader what the intended message is. Despite the beauty of the language. Presents from my aunts in Pakistan, actually has a lost, distraught, heavy, torn and mixed tone which ideally reflects the poet’s feelings. It is very effective at informing the reader of the issues she faces.
The imagery In The Blessing we see a variety of visual techniques to engage the reader and notionally connect them with the meaning of the poem. I have given examples of such imagery in my analysis. Presents from my Aunts focuses on mainly one type of imagery, visual. However both poems are able to draw the reader in, whilst reading you can sense the dryness in the blessing and feel the Joy and excitement as the “municipal pipe bursts”. Equally effective is Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan, in the opening line you can almost visualize the beautiful peacock blue salsas kamikaze and sense Ammonias embarrassment when she tries on her “costume”.
This shows hat you can use many or few types of visual technique but as long as they are used in the correct way with the right use of language they can be effective. Use of Rhythm and Rhyme There is very little use of rhyme in either of these poems. The Blessing uses it once “ground and found”. I believe that this was to give momentum to the rhythm of stanza three. As this stanza could be interpreted as fast flowing gushes of water. Presents from my aunts in Pakistan uses no rhyme instead it relies on the structure of the stanzas and length of the sentences to create rhythm.
The rhythm is quite slow and reflective like thoughts on a page. Poetic Devices The blessing makes clever use of similes “Cracks like a pod” to engage the reader, from the first line. This powerful use of language and poetic devices continue right through the poem we see alliteration “polished to perfection” Assonance “small splash” Onomatopoeia “cracks” “splash” Personification “liquid sun” “blessing sings” Allusion in biblical form “voice of a kindly god” Enjambment “frantic hands” Symbolism “voice of a kindly god” “rush of fortune” “silver crashes” and finally adaptor “Roar of tongues”.
Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan uses far less poetic devices it relies mainly on similes “Glistening like an orange split open” and some Alliteration “Satin Silken” “costume clung” as well as onomatopoeia “snapped” and personification “throbbing through newsprint”. However despite this contrast both poems are able to equally engage the reader and make an emotional connection. Whilst reading the Blessing you cannot help but be drawn into the situation. It is incredibly powerful.
Whilst reading you almost become a part of the words, you feel a deadness at the start, followed by Joy as that third stanza leaps into life on the page, and sadness again when it nears the end and the water is gone. All of this emotion and feeling is created by the devices and brilliant language. It is hard to believe that language can have such evoking effects. Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan is also successful at creating such a reaction. Despite the differences in devices and imagery. This poem relies on its wonderful use of color and descriptive language to arouse the reader’s imagination.