essay
A different history
The poem “A Different History” is written by Sujata Bhatt. In her life she has experienced 3 different cultures. The Indian culture, the American culture and the German culture. She has had to adapt to all of them and now she can’t tell which culture is truly hers. The poem is reflecting her past and she is telling us about the differences in the cultures and how people act strangely towards people from different cultures. This poem is a serious poem telling the reader how different the world is. She explores the Indian culture through this poem and tells the reader the depth of this eccentric culture. In this essay I will explore the depth of the culture and the allusions that she has mentioned.
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Point
Evidence
Effect
Linking back to thesis
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-there are 29 lines
-not a sonnet
-the poem does not have a regular rhyme scheme
-the poem is in free verse
-all the length of the lines are not the same
- the poem is in 2 stanzas
-sonnet has 14 lines
-last words of the first 6 lines 1.dead 2.emigrated 3.india 4.freely 5. Monkeys 6.sacred
-the first 6 lines are not in same length
-first stanza 18 lines
-second stanza 11 lines
- The effect in stanza 1 is talking about the gods in India and the effect in stanza 2 is talking about the language and conquest.
- There are cultural differences and the language and religion is not the same in the 2 places.
- this tell us how the poet is feeling just when she migrated and had to forget her last culture
-a culture is embedded into the person therefore is not easy to forget.

The poem is of 29 lines in total, therefore this is not a sonnet. The first stanza is 18 lines and the second stanza is 11 lines long. This poem does not have a regular rhyme scheme. The evidence of that can be stated from the last words of the first six lines. They are lines 1. Dead 2. Emigrated 3. India 4. Freely 5. Monkeys 6.sacred. There is no rhyme scheme because the poet doesn’t want the reader to sway with the rhythm because this is a poem on cultures and it is a serious matter. The poem is an irregular rhyme. All the lines are not of the same length. This shows us that the poem is meant to be read slowly with understanding. The effect that the first stanza creates is telling us about the gods in India and how freely they roam. The second stanza is talking about the change and how the conquers quest and language are loved by the people who were forced to learn it.





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Point
Evidence
Effect
Linking back to thesis
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- there are lots of formal and informal words in the poem
-Dead, Emigrated, Disgusted, Sacred are all formal words
- Shove, Slam, Toss are informal words
The effect that this creates is that the poem is all age friendly and brings out the true meaning
- the formal words tell us how the adaptation can be different and the informal words tell us the change in the cultures

The words used by Sujata Bhatt are formal and informal. She doesn’t want this poem to become too serious. Words like dead and emigrated are formal words. These words are put here to increase the emphasis to the poem and to the referred line. In the first line “great Pan is not DEAD”. The word dead plays an important part due to the fact of telling us that the god is not dead. One the other hand words like shove and slam are informal words. These words let the poem get more exiting to the reader to find out what will happen next. The specific words mean with reference to “slam”. This particular word in line 11. “a sin to slam books down” Sujata Bhatt is trying to tell us what is the Indian culture, because in the culture it says that slamming a book hard, kicking a book and throwing a book is a sin, because it offends saraswati the Indian god of learning. All the words have a reference to the line they are placed in and they all have a deep meaning to them.
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Point
Evidence
Effect
Linking back to thesis
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- there are lots of literary devices and a lot of imagery
-devices= 1.metaphor
2.simile
3.allusions
-imagery=
1.organic
2.visual
3.kinesthetic
-dead is organic and kinesthetic imagery
- disguised as snakes or monkeys = simile
- which language truly meant to murder someone =metaphor
Great pan =allusion
-the allusions make the reader feel that they don’t know who the person or event is so it is like a half open window which has a little scope of hope but they push it open and find out whatever they can to know the person/ event
-the devices create rhythm in the poem.
- as I mentioned I will explore the allusions in the poem and I will go to depth of it.



In the poem Sujata Bhatt has used a lot of literary devices and imagery, in the poem. The kinds of devices used are metaphors, similes and allusions. The types of imagery are kinesthetic, visual and organic. In the first line of the poem there is imagery. “DEAD” this word is related to 2 types of imagery organic and kinesthetic. The feelings of death bring great sadness and sorrow. The kinesthetic meaning gives us the effect of no movement like the person can’t move, or the person is in a state of trance. “ROAM FREELY” is movement again they are not area bound they are free to do what they want what they don’t want. “DISGUISED AS SNAKES OR MONKEYS” this is the 5th line, this is a simile and Sujata is comparing the gods as animals. The Indian snake god is Nagdev and the Indian monkey god is Hanuman. This shows that she has less concern about the Indian gods. The words “SLAM and TOSS” are visual imagery and they show what are a few ways to disturb saraswati. “SARASWATI” is another allusion. Saraswati is the Indian goddess of knowledge and in India it is believed that saraswati is present in all the things we use to learn even in a pen. “WHICH LANGUAGE TRULY MEANT TO MURDER SOMEONE” this is a metaphor. This is in the second stanza and it means which language of the conquer meant to murder some people of a country because of his/her quest. “A SCYTHE SWOOPING” the scythe is a very sharp object that is moving at a very high speed and the imagery relating to swooping is auditory, visual and kinesthetic. The auditory because you can hear a little noise when anything is moving at a high speed. Visual because you can see the sharp object. Kinesthetic because you can see the movement of the sharp object. The effect that the allusions create is that it is a half open window the full picture is not shown to the reader of who the person is or what this event is. This makes the reader find out more about what is in the poem.
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point
Evidence
effect
Linking back to thesis
Paragraph 5
- this is the attitude paragraph
- in the first stanza there is a positive attitude except for a few places
-Second stanza has both positive and negative attitude, there is some anger and disgust feelings to.
- Negative in the first stanza “disguised as” Sujata doesn’t let them remain in original form she thinks that they don’t exist.
-positive in the first stanza she says that it is a sin to do a few things and to disturb saraswati she shows her concern to the gods.
Negative in the second stanza “which language truly meant to murder someone” this also shows anger and disgust how a language can kill.
“Soul has been cropped how someone could want to cut someone else’s soul into 10000 small pieces this shows anger and hate.
The effect that the entire amount attitude gives to the poem plays an important part because if the poem was attitude less there would be no meaning and no emphasis to any important parts of the poem.
I said that I would explore the depth of the culture and the attitude speaks for itself telling what all the culture is made of and how different we are from the rest of the world and we are the only people who have the most different culture this shows our eccentricity.


The attitude plays a very important part in the poem and without attitude the poem will be like another reading passage. The attitude gives depth to the poem and increases the reader to read on until the end. The attitude tells the reader what the poem wants to depict. The attitude lets the reader have the first impression to think what is the poem about, what was going through the poets mind when he/she wrote it. In the first stanza there is positive and negative attitude. The negative stating “disguised as” Sujata doesn’t let the gods stay in their original form she changes their form to suit the poem. Whereas the positive is letting the gods be free, and believing that great pan is not dead he has moved from one place to another. She has hope and the belief that pan is not dead because letting someone die is a matter of great sorrow and sadness. The positive is that Sujata explains a few religious things Indians do that is not to offend any learning material because it offends saraswati. It is a sin to slam books down hard on the table, a sin to toss one carelessly across the room. She is being sensitive and positive that this is a sin and we should not do it. The negative in the second stanza is “which language truly meant to murder someone” this also shows anger and disgust how a language can kill. “Soul has been cropped how someone could want to cut someone else’s soul into 10000 small pieces this shows anger and hate. She is differentiating between the 2 cultures. The effect that the entire amount attitude gives to the poem plays an important part because if the poem was attitude less there would be no meaning and no emphasis to any important parts of the poem. As I had said that I would explore the depth of the culture and the attitude speaks for itself telling what all the culture is made of and how different we are from the rest of the world and we are the only people who have the most different culture this shows our eccentricity.

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Point
Evidence
Effect
Link back to thesis
ideas
-Cultural difference
-respect for differences
-conquerors conquest
-emigrated
-gods roaming freely
-sins committed against books
- 2 allusions of gods
-stanza 2 àlanguage of the conqueror /of the oppressor
- conquered learning to “love” the language.
-creates –feeling of what the poem is about
-reflects the superstitions embedded in the Indian culture
-the effect of the last few lines makes the reader feel uncomfortable
-it brings out the poets discomfort with both cultures, possibly her in ability to accept either as completely her own
HOW AM I?
The ideas of the poem are to show the cultural differences of 2 places which differ in so many ways. The respect for the differences is not appreciated and due to that the people who come to the other place disrespect that place and the people of the place get offended. The conquerors quest is different for each place. Even though Sujata Bhatt has emigrated 3 times in her life she has still not forgotten the cultures and she can explain it to the world so that they can change to make the earth a better place to live in. she has should in India the animals are not disturbed because they are thought of as gods and they are respected. She remembers the different ways a person can sin. There are 4 allusions in the poem so the reader can find out and understand the poem. She wants to Conway a message that is when a place is conquered and a new language is brought in when the conquerors leave that language is loved by the people so we are not willing to change we follow the others and if they are leading, to their own death then we will follow them. The effects that the ides give the poem are they reflect the superstitions of India and the culture; it lets the reader know what the poem is about. And the last few lines of the poem make the reader feel uncomfortable if they know there countries past. The poem brings out the poets discomfort while writing this poem because she has had to go through adapting to a new culture when the old one is weaved and embedded into her. It can be really hard.


With this essay I conclude that this is an amazing poem and I have really enjoyed reading it and understanding it. It has a very deep meaning to it and a very strong culture behind it. The poem is very well written by Sujata Bhatt. The way she has explained the cultural differences is amazing and having to go through cultural changes 3 times in your life can be hard I really appreciate the fact in spite of all this she has written such a beautiful poem to explain it all. The way she remembers all the cultures is awesome. She is able to explain each with its difference very well in the poem. Putting the allusions of the Indian gods and great pan changed the full structure of the poem and I have truly enjoyed reading it.