2012 Student Research Conference:
25th Annual Student Research Conference

You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello: A Comparative Analysis of Agha Shahid Ali's "Vacating an Apartment "and "The Previous Occupant"
Brandon M. Carter
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

The poems "Vacating an Apartment" and "The Previous Occupant," in Agha Shahid Alis The Half Inch Himalayas, are intratextually connected. These sequential poems recount the departure and subsequent arrival of two tenants who have no relationship other than the sequential renting of the same place. The poet presents the hardwired, universal fear of leaving behind a piece of oneself without leaving a legacy in "Vacating an Apartment." Similarly, the falsification of a memory presented in "The Previous Occupant" reflects upon human need for completion and toys with the notion of an inaccurate or aggrandized legacy. When observed as a unit, one can clearly see the juxtaposition and intentional contrasts present in the pieces both individually and collectively. It is in the unity and contrast of these two poems that the need and desire for completion and place become visible.

Keywords: Kashmir, poetry, Agha Shahid Ali, Vacating an Apartment, The Previous Occupant, memory, legacy, place

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 212-1
Location: VH 1408
Time: 9:30

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