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Analysis of 3 Poems by Martin Espada - Essay Example

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  This paper helps to provide an analysis of three major poems of his which have a lot of in-depth meaning and transition from one theme to another. The three poems used in this paper are ‘Latin Night at the Pawnshop’, ‘Bully’ and ‘Rednecks’ by Martin Espada…
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Analysis of 3 Poems by Martin Espada
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Download file to see previous pages  The three poems also help in depicting the life of the poet as a young boy to a man, and how he faces the impact of being a Latin immigrant living in America. It is also ironical to note that today, as an older man; his poems are being read and taught in American schools, a further connotation of Latin American understanding and influence over American society. Latin Night at the Pawnshop is a short lyric poem divided into two stanzas. As per the lines of the poem, the poet suggests that the time and place of the poem was Chelsea in the year 1987. The poem talks about images and helps the reader to imagine the same in his mind and thus turns out to be the subjective poem, with many different perspectives. The primary image of the poem is of a number of musical types of equipment, affiliated to a long forgotten salsa band, lie in a pawnshop for sale; this may be suggested by the first stanza itself, “The apparition of a salsa band gleaming in the Liberty Loan pawnshop window.” The poem, however, fails to answer the connotative meaning of the salsa band; why were the musical types of equipment lying there in a failed way – was it because the public did not like salsa music, was it because the culture of the music was slowly drifting away, or was it because the band was no good? The presence of the instruments, however, denote the cultural aspect of the poet’s background and they are an indication of the poet’s personal heritage clashing with American culture; this could mean that the salsa band culture was dying out on cold Christmas night in Chelsea, Massachusetts. ("The Best American Poetry 1996”) Furthermore, the name of the pawnshop, ‘Liberty Loan’ also perhaps suggests that no other culture may feel liberated at the cost of American Liberty or that American liberty demands that a non-American culture loan its freedom from the main nation before it can go its own way. Bully, written by Espada, the use of irony is visible clearly as a backdrop of American society has been used in order to describe major events that take place within the same. The tone of the poem is very serious at its inception, "In the school auditorium / the Theodore Roosevelt statue / nostalgic", and it is so because a matter of historical importance is being written about. Another side theme of the poem is based on wartime, as written by the poet himself. The poet writes about the involvement of Roosevelt in the Spanish American war and how the same caused a vast amount of immigration in Boston mainly. According to history, Roosevelt has been said to hold ethnocentric views, however, Espada revokes the same belief and states otherwise. He writes, “But now the Roosevelt school is pronounced Hernandez. Puerto Rico has invaded Roosevelt with its army of Spanish-singing children in the hallways.” This line denotes the title of the poem ‘bully’ to be justified as it talks about the majority ruling over the youth in American society today.   ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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