2011 Student Research Conference:
24th Annual Student Research Conference

A Redefinition of Home: An Analysis of "Postcard from Kashmir"
Eric R. Gaulden
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

The idea of home portrayed in Agha Shahid Ali's "Postcard from Kashmir" is questioned but never clearly answered, leaving the reader with a sense of uncertainty. At one moment, we believe that home is Kashmir, from which he suffers a physical exile. But, if he were to return, the poem explains, that feeling of exile would still remain. It is more even than a profound emotional exile from family or childhood. In fact, this poem paints a picture of an impossible-to-overcome alienation. While he begins to associate home with the overexposed photograph of the Himalayas he receives on a postcard, he quickly retracts his statement and replaces it with another: "This the closest / I'll ever be to home" (5-6). This paper will explore the significance of home in the poem, especially in the context of its diasporic writer.

Keywords: diasporic writer, Agha Shahid Ali, Half-Inch Himalayas, Postcard from Kashmir

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 25-2
Location: VH 1408
Time: 1:30

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