Dear Sujata Bhatt, After reading your poem, “Search For My Tongue” I really felt that your words and language are more than just a type of communication but a part of your identity. When you said “‘lost the first one, the mother tongue, and could not really know the other” it shows that the mother tongue or “original language” you had made you who you are and that knowing it and letting it be a part of your life is important because it’s nurturing to who you are. Then, when you learned the other language and moved to where that language is prevalent, you felt like an outsider because it’s something you aren’t born into and it’s something that you use to personally identify yourself. Your poem shows that when you live in different places, which you have personally experienced that your “mother tongue” has a form of neglect when you’re in a place that has a language foreign to you. When you added your first language in the middle of the poem it shows a creative and hidden point that in between the languages that you use, even when you think your mother tongue is lost, you realize that it will always be there and always be a part of who you are and that it will always have a important impact throughout your life. With the use of metaphors and relating your mother or original language to a flower and nature using the quote “Every time I think I’ve forgotten it blossoms out of my mouth” shows that the language itself is beautiful and everlasting because even when you think it’s gone, you start to think about it again and it’s like you’re “planting a seed” to make the beautiful plant bloom again. Using the imagery of your tongue being pushed to the side and dying shows that throughout life, you may go places and who you are may be changed and you have the chance of losing who you originally are but as life does go on there will moments when who you are shine through and gives you a reminder that where you come from and who you used to be will still be a part of you even when it gets pushed to the side by other factors in life. When you are born into this world, you have different experiences than others and you are also thought and you learn different things. One of these things is the language you speak and most of the time that relates to your culture, and the culture that you learn, know and live by affects the way that you live your life. So, language has a strong connection to how you live and how you identify yourself and the way you choose to make certain decisions. Using the language Gujarati in the middle of the poem gives it a sense of equality throughout the poem. If you are a foreign speaker to this language, you have the ability to hear the language being spoken but you can’t fully understand what is being said. This would be the same way if the tables were turned, if someone spoke Gujarati but not english, they could understand their language but not have any idea of what is being said in english. When reading this poem, I also noticed that there wasn’t necessarily a rhyme scheme but it more flowed like someone was personally saying the poem which adds that personal effect about how this has actually had an impact in your life and that when you wrote this poem, it came from the heart. I personally have never experienced what you have been describing in this poem. I have always spoke only one language and I haven’t lived somewhere else where that language is different and that had an impact on my language. Just through reading your poem, from the sensory that you used and the addition of the Gujarati language, I can only imagine and have the slightest idea of what that feels like. Even though I have not had these experiences, that doesn’t mean that it will never be a possibility in my life. If that ever does end up happening, just from reading this poem and seeing that others experience this every day and that they can lose sight of their “mother tongue” and parts of where they came from that it’s never too late to remember and find your way back to where you came from. Your work is truly incredible because you find ways to use sensory imagery to get personal experiences and feelings across so that other people who may be going through the same thing can realize that it’s not too late and that this poem was helpful to them personally. I’ve really enjoyed reading your poem, thank you for sharing your work and your stories; poetry can be very helpful to other people so you’re doing good by your work. Thank you, Lilly Friedel.