Date of Graduation
Master of Arts in English
immigration, pandemic, psycholinguistics, bilingual, identity, politics, cultural assimilation, home, Bengali, Bangladeshi literature
Literature in English, North America, Ethnic and Cultural Minority | Other Languages, Societies, and Cultures | Poetry
The following poems chronicle the journey of a contemporary Bangladeshi-immigrant poet living in the United States of America. Divided in three sections, the poems serve as self-portraits that peek into the complex psycholinguistics of the immigrant writing in a second language. The poet offers sketches of different aspects of his immigrant life through self portraits. While mostly autobiographical, the collection offers poems that serve as commentary on the socio-economic reality of workaholic American life. Through exploring the self as a bilingual poet, the poems serve as critiques of the socio-political systems of this country. “Self-Portraits of the Byelingual Immigrant” also includes poems written from other perspectives. The rationale for including other perspectives is influenced by the poet’s choice to offer a holistic view of immigrant life and avoid a monochromatic pastiche. Additionally, some of the poems deal with the reality of living through the COVID-19 global pandemic and address the anxiety of living without a support system in a country that the immigrant calls home. Inspired by Bharati Mukherjee’s idea of a literary orphan, the poems look at both sides of the life of an immigrant: the original home that the poet grew up in and the new home he accepted.
© Sujash Purna
Purna, Sujash, "Self-portraits of the Byelingual Immigrant" (2021). MSU Graduate Theses. 3634.