They Sent Me A Salwar Kameez Poem Analysis

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The poetry of Moniza Alvi reflects her unique position within the lens of a globalized society. Having been born in Pakistan, yet moving before she could formulate a proper Pakistani identity and growing up in London, England Alvi grapples with her place in both cultures and her poetry reflects this struggle. She, along with many other artists and writers, utilizes her confusion and dissociation with her native country to fuel her poetry. Additionally, her writing serves as a means of release and catharsis for her uncertain identity. The relationship that Alvi has to her country of birth is shaky and complicated because she is expected to represent both cultures and finds that although she is Pakistani it is her London roots that she finds the…show more content…
In the first line “They” refers back to her aunts and shows how they must send her items from her native culture because she is too far away to visit and is becoming detached from her Pakistani culture by living and growing up in England. The clothing items being discussed allude to a representation of a young girl coming into her teens “My aunts chose an apple-green sari…for my teens.” (14) This poem could serve as an autobiographical poem for the way in which Alvi felt as she grew up and may have been a method of getting in touch with her background. In the notes on the author in our class text, “Anthology of Twentieth-Century British and Irish Poetry” by Keith Tuma, her country of birth is described by Alvi as existing “…partly as fantasy, as a country she can “prise” off a map, and also partly as an identity produced for her by others.” Alvi feels as though the culture and customs of Pakistan are being thrust upon her and she is unsure how to go about interpreting those

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