Choi (최)

Part of speech: Noun

Definition: A governor who oversees the land and the mountain.

Source: Wikipedia

This word is found in Franny Choi’s “Choi Jeong min”, line 8, fourth stanza

“i wanted to be a writer & worried/ about how to escape my surname — choi”

Knowing what Choi means doesn’t add to the poem directly, but I do know names in most East Asian countries carry cultural significance beyond linguistics. Going by that I understand that there are two meanings behind what Franny Choi is conveying, a desire to assimilate to American literature by not using her foreign last name and a desire to get away from the ethnic background and culture she were raised in because of internalized racial shame.

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