Write your feelings as you read the poem ''A Different History'' by Sujata Bhatt.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that one of the strongest feelings to emerge from reading Bhatt's poem is the collision between theory and reality.  Bhatt's poem is read in two stanzas, with each being almost the opposite of another.  The first stanza reveals the perfection of the divine, a world in which divine realization has permeated being.  In this realm, the Hindu goddess of learning has been fully realized and acknowledged.  The knowledge and books emanating from Saraswati is honored throughout a social realm via a spiritual perspective.  The first stanza articulates a world of what can or should be.  The second stanza is a harsh departure from this, discussing how the language of the oppressor becomes appropriated by the next generation.  The "unborn grandchildren" embody and speak the language of "the oppressors."  I think that one of my most immediate feelings is to try to understand a condition where both realities exist. Certainly, I think that Bhatt is trying to bring out the condition in which India finds itself as a world of the divine as well as one where the language of the oppressors has become embedded in its own state of being.  In bringing out the pain and glory that is intrinsic to India, Bhatt's poem evokes complex and intricate feelings in trying to reconcile that which is opposite of one another.