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Literature

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El Olvido:

It is a dangerous thing
to forget the climate of your birthplace,
to choke out the voices of dead relatives
when in dreams they call you
by your secret name.
It is dangerous
to spurn the clothes you were born to wear
for the sake of fashion; dangerous
to use weapons and sharp instruments
you are not familiar with; dangerous
to disdain the plaster saints
before which your mother kneels
praying with embarrasing fervor
that you survive in the place you have chosen to live;
a bare, cold room with no pictures on the walls,
a forgetting place where she fears you will die
of loneliness and exposure
Jesus, Maria, y Jose, she says
el olvido is a dangerous thing

What is the tone of this poem and the speaker's attitude towards this subject? How does the word choice and rhythm prove that?

Well I know that the tone of this poem is very serious; the speaker is trying to say that el olvido is a big deal by repeating throughout the poem 'it is dangerous'

That's about as much as I can get. Please help

Thanks
-MC

  • Literature - ,

    I'll give you a possibility, but you could probably come up with other scenarios:

    Think of the mother of a 20-year-old (race or ethnicity doesn't matter) who is Catholic. Think of the 20-year-old son in a prison cell ("the place you have chosen to live; / a bare, cold room with no pictures on the walls, / a forgetting place where she fears you will die / of loneliness and exposure") for the rest of his life.

    Now look at the earlier lines. What did the son decide to reject? What did he decide to wear? Instead of what? What did he decide to do? And what is the only thing the mother can do about all this now?

  • Literature - ,

    Also ... I can't find an author for this. Who is the poet?

  • Literature - ,

    I'm sorry this reply is late...this poem was written by Judith Ortiz Cofer

    -MC

  • Literature - ,

    El olvido in Spanish means "the forgetting" or "the oblivion" -- how do you think the poem fits its title?

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