Beauty Of Poetry Essay, Research Paper
7 April 2000
The Beauty of Poetry
I chose to analyze two poems in this essay. These are the “Ending Poem” and “this is not the place where I was born”. Both were chosen from the book Currents from the Dancing River Book. I found these two books to contain similar themes and both seem to be of a modern genre.
These poems deal with family and the roots that connect them to the past. Both recognize that they themselves are disassociated with their past although they still acknowledge where they come from. I find the theme present in these two poems to be a very common theme in Chicano poetry, especially modern ones. While reading both made poems I found that both made reference to not belonging to their native lands but at the same time they acknowledge they are connected to their roots. Both Poems seem to exhibit concern over not receiving credit for their background, they seem to show a mood of being victimized and looked down upon because of their diverse background.
The “Ending Poem” I s about a person recognizing what they are and where they are descended from. They acknowledge their diverse back ground but recognize that they are one thing, “ a child of the Americas” ( Morales, Line two). A child of the Americas meaning they come from every part of the continent, they have a diverse background. This speaker realizes how many different women from so many different places have been involved in them descending to present day. They let this be known when they say, “ I am a child of many mothers” (Morales, 556). I found that this person feels alienated from their past but at the same time they come close to it, although they know they can’t return to the past. The past is too far away to be accessed and they must settle for what is in the present not in the past. They make this clear when mentioned that they were born at a crossroads. This represents the unification of a diverse background where clear isolated association with just one background is not possible. This makes the speaker feel alienated from their true background. They want to live in the present, where they can identify with what they are presently, an U.S. American. This doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate their roots, because they know it is what made them and what will continue building upon them, time after time.
I think this work reflects late Chicano poetry. The reason because it expresses alienation but acceptance from what they are alienated. They can’t relate to their parents past but they realize it is what made them and they will pass it on to their children and so forth. This poem doesn’t reflect the traditional fear of losing touch with ones background; on the contrary, they accept it and come to grounds with the situation. The speaker realizes how important family is and what and what it means to be Latino. A Latino isn’t just one background; it is composed of diverse quantities.
Although the “Ending Poem” makes reference to the past and how it relates to them, the speaker seems more secure of themselves and this characterizes the more modern works of Chicano poets. There is also no opposition to assimilating in the society they live in, which characterizes it as being a late poetry work.
“This is not the place where I was born” also seemed to have a similar theme as in reference to your roots and family. This poem on the other hand deals with not being able to live things as their parents did. The speaker finds that life is different in their land when compared to what their mother told them it used to be like. They can’t see or live things presently, as did their parents and grandparents. At first the speaker begins by recognizing that they were born in Puerto Rico, But after they compare the differences between present day and the past, they realize that their land isn’t the same one they were born into. The speaker feel isolated and alienated from what their land once was. They can’t remember it as it been described. They can only picture the present day, which is full of violent police, arrogant people, and racial slurs.
This poem seems to be on a more personal basis, which characterizes it as a late poetry work. The poem also makes use of imagery, one example is where they say, “Looney Toon cartoon characters with badges in their jock straps”, this represents the corrupt authorities in the poem ( page 2, line 8). This poem also deals with racial tensions, which is another element of late Chicano poetry. It allows you to reflect on the differences that exist between the past and the present, by putting it in a comparison/contrast form. Overall this poem deals with the role your homeland has on you and what family means. Maybe it is set in a different way but both poems still have common themes. Both poems are of a late period in Chicano Poetry and they allow you to immerse into them with their limited use of imagery. All the literary elements that lead to this common theme are there. Both speakers seem more secure in their writings, there is acceptance of becoming alienated and they make reference to family and how it connects them to their roots.
Morales, Aurora & Rosario. “ Ending Poem”. Currents from the Dancing River, 1994, Edited by
Pinero, Miguel. “This is not the place where I was born”. Currents from the Dancing River, 1994. Edited by Ray Gonzalez.