Nalysis of 3 poems by Martin Espada (Latin Night at The Pawnshop, Bully & Rednecks)
The paper needs to provide an in-depth explication of the poems by Martin Espada (Specified below):
a. Word choice: How do specific words build up the poemas meaning?
b. Word order: How does the placement of words add to their meaning?
c. Denotation and connotation: What words, when supplied with their denotative and connotative meanings, add to your understanding of the poemas meanings? Tell us the words, give us their denotative and connotative meanings, and show us how the poem develops meaning from those words.
d. Tone: What words describe the tone? How do you know? Where does the tone change? How does that affect the poemas meaning?
e. Symbols: Is there an overarching meaning to the poem? What is it? What is the relationship between the symbol and the poemas meaning?
f. Simile and metaphor: Identify key figures of speech. How do they lead to the poemas meaning?
The paper needs to touch on several elements, but focus on three for each poem.
The Format the paper should be written is:
-Similarities & Differences
Latin Night At The Pawnshop
The apparition of a salsa band
gleaming in the Liberty Loan
congas, maracas, tambourine,
all with price tags dangling
like the city morgue ticket
on a dead manas toe.
In the school auditorium,
the Theodore Roosevelt statue
for the Spanish-American war
each fist lonely for a saber,
or the reins of anguish-eyed horses,
or a podium to clatter with speeches
glorying in the malaria of conquest.
But now the Roosevelt school
is pronounced Hernandez.
Puerto Rico has invaded Roosevelt
with its army of Spanish-singing children
in the hallways,
brown children devouring
the stockpiles of the cafeteria,
children painting Taino ancestors
that leap naked across murals.
Roosevelt is surrounded
by all the faces
he ever shoved in eugenic spite
and cursed as mongrels, skin of one race,
hair and cheekbones of another.
Once Marines tramped
from the newsreel of his imagination;
now children plot to spray graffiti
in parrot-brilliant colors
across the Victorian mustache
At Scot Gas, Darnestown Road,
the high school boys pumping gas
would snicker at the rednecks.
Every Saturday night there was Earl,
puckering his liquor-smashed face
to announce that he was driving
across the bridge, a bridge spanning
only the whiskey river
that bubbled in his stomach.
Earls car, one side crumpled like his nose,
would circle slowly around the pumps,
turn signal winking relentlessly.
Another pickup truck morning,
and rednecks. Loitering
in our red uniforms, we watched
as a pickup rumbled through.
We expected: Fill it with no-lead, boy,
and gimme a cash ticket.
We expected the farmer with sideburns
and a pompadour.
We, with new diplomas framed
at home, never expected the woman.
Her face was a purple rubber mask
melting off her head, scars rippling down
where the fire seared her freak face,
leaving her a carnival where high school boys
paid a quarter to look, and look away.
No one took the pump. The farmer saw us standing
in our red uniforms, a regiment of illiterate conscripts.
Still watching us, he leaned across the seat of the truck
and kissed her. He kissed her
all over her happy ruined face, kissed her
as I pumped the gas and scraped the windshield
and measured the oil, he kept kissing her.
Use quotes from the poems