How cool is your grandmother? Nikki Giovanni, Gary Soto, and Lorna Dee Cervantes share poems with their audience about their grandmothers and the lessons they have been taught. Throughout the year as we grow most of our grandparents get to see us change into the person we are today. “Lord these children”, Grandparents do not care what generation you grew up in they are mostly traditional and do not take disrespect too well. Here are some poems dealing with: Performance in everyday life, Traits that significantly shape human identity, and traits that shape cultural backgrounds.
Ever wanted to say something but refuse to say it out loud because you may not want to take a hold of the outcome? In “Legacies” by Nikki Giovanni argues about the role in performance in everyday life. Nobody ever truly say what they really mean to say. Nikki starts the poem with a grandmother calling her granddaughter in from the playground, granddaughter responding with a “yes ma’am” shows respect towards her grandmother. The grandmother says “i want chu to learn how to make rolls,” this signifies that the grandmother would like to teach her granddaughter something special like making “rolls”.
We never clarify what we really mean like the granddaughter, “i don’t want to know how to make no rolls” as clear as that sounds the granddaughter “didn’t want to learn how”. The granddaughter did not want to learn how to make rolls because “that would mean when the old one died she would be less dependent of her spirit” the “old one” meaning her grandmother. The granddaughter meant to say after she learns how to make her grandmother’s “rolls” she would not need grandmother to ever make them because she already knew how to make her grandmother’s “rolls, so when grandmother dies she “she would be less dependent on her spirit”.
As the grandmother “wipes her hands on her apron” meaning she was ready to teach her granddaughter how to make her “rolls”, the grandmother proceeds by only saying the following “lord these children”, not knowing her granddaughter actually meant “when the old one died she would be less dependent of her spirit”. We do not ever want to lose a loved one but we also know nobody is immortal, we all know everyone will die some day. Say what you want to say when the time comes and do not hide or be ashamed of what the outcome could be.
Believe Nikki was trying to teach her audience of a particular occasions where people do not speak their minds and can miss out a opportunity of a lifetime. The granddaughter could have said what she really meant to say and the grandmother could have made this moment special for both of them. This could have been an opportunity for bonding, the granddaughter knows her grandmother will not be around for forever so she could have said what was on her mind. In “Behind Grandma’s House” by Gary Soto, he argues traits that significantly shape human identity. Gary explains his childhood, “at ten I wanted fame”.
The little boy in the story wanted to be known and craved attention from his peers. The little boy says, “I wanted to prove I was tough” so he does the following “borrowed a dog, one with mismatched eyes and a happy tongue,”. “Behind Grandma’s House” there was an alley. “In the alley, kicking over trash cans. ” was some of the many things the little boy do to shape his identity as a tough bad boy!
The little boy did not stop there, he proceeds with “I hurled light bulbs” and threw them as if they were meant to be “like grenades” grenades are not to be play with and are certainly not an object ittle kids should be allowed to play with especially at age ten but the little boy imagined the light bulb to be a grenade so when it hit the ground it would break, as in a grenade would explode and make a loud noise. Later on the little boy when to class the following occurred, “men teachers held their heads. ” Is a typical sign of frustration with the little boys actions. “Fingers of blood lengthening” as in reaching for an object “on the ground. ” to get a hold of a rock. In the alley where he reached for the rocks he “flicked rocks at cats. “.
Good kids do not harm others but this little boy enjoyed “Their goofy faces spurred with foxtail” harming and terrifying the poor animals in the alley “I shooed pigeons” along with frightening the “ants with a stream of piss. “. As the little bad boy pissed on the ants and his language towards “imaginary priest” was not so appropriate “‘I said “Shit,” “Fuck you. ” and “No way Daddy-0″” for anyone to tell one another. Finally, the little boy catches his grandmother and comes out of her house as “Her apron Flapping in a breeze,” and the breeze also causing “Her hair mussed” goes to the alley and confronts the little boy.
The grandmother approaches her little bad boy grandson and says “Let me help you. ” and “punched me between the eyes. “. The grandmother literally knocked some sense into the little boy. Bad boys typically get into fights so the grandmother had to teach him a lesson. The little boys grandmother wanted to show him what real bad boys go through and if he kept going on with his actions then “punched me between the eyes. ” would be the outcome. In “Refugee Ship” by Lorna Dee Cervantes argues traits that shape cultural background.
Lorna is an American raised by her Latino family. Lorna is in a room with her grandmother and feels tension. “Like wet cornstarch”, wet cornstarch is not meant to hold together but to separate and fall apart that is how Lorna feels as “I slide past my grandmother’s eyes. ” when her grandmother looks at her. “The bible at her side” symbolizes the tradition of religion that Lorna is not a part of. “The pudding thickens. ” is Lorna’s way of using imagery symbolizing her grandmother’s faith and Lorna, Mama raised me without language”, Lorna’s mother did not teach her a specific language and continued with “I’m an orphan to my Spanish name”.
Lorna does not feel like she fits the definition of an authentic Mexican woman because of the language barrier, religious views, and “my reflection: bronzed skin, black hair. “. The language barrier makes Lorna feel heartbroken because “The words are foreign” and Lorna finds herself “stumbling on my tongue” meaning she cannot say most words in Spanish to communicate with her grandmother or even to communicate with other Latinos.
Lorna speaks about r feelings “I feel I am captive aboard the refugee ship. ” as in locked into the sea and has no home. Lorna feel as if she does not fit neither culture. “The ship that will never dock. ” then Lorna says it in Spanish “El barco que nunca atraca. “. In conclusion, all these poems share a life lesson and the way people act around their peers. I am a Latina women I could connect with each story in a way that seem relevant right now. My grandmother comes to visit me at least twice each year. As a child my mother used to send me off the Mexico to see the rest of my family.
When in Mexico I would communicate with a broken language, some words I cannot seem to remember or say properly. My family in Mexico still correct me till this day but they never made me feel as if I was a disappointment like Lorna’s grandmother looked at her. I grew up catholic like traditionally most Latinos are and I found myself leaning towards Christianity and my grandmother approved as long as I was happy with my decision and do good she says I have her blessing, what a relief! I cherish my grandmother as if she was my own mother.
My grandmother has taught me plenty of valuable things; how to iron my clothes, how to sew, and how to dance. Just like “Legacies”, I never actually bothered to learn how to make some of my grandmother’s famous dishes because she would always have it done before I could finish my sentence. What if I do not make it as good as her? My grandmother along with my mother have taught me valuable lessons, like “Behind Grandma’s House. “, never to be someone | am not and to always speak my mind. I am very thankful for my Grandmother and mother.