Author Archives: Christopher J Uzhca

Gook

Part of Speech- Noun

Definition- a foreigner, especially a person of Philippine, Korean, or Vietnamese descent.

Source- Dictionary.com

“Choi Jeong Min” by Franny Choi

In the poem, the speaker talks about how when her name is being called out, it gets butchered since it is a “gook” foreign name.

Mutilate

Part of Speech- Verb

Definition- inflict a violent and disfiguring injury on.

Source- Dictionary.com

“The Child Bearer” by Anne Sexton

In the poem, the word is being used to when the speaker describes sending the children back with special packaging.

hemophilia

Part of Speech- Noun

Definition- a medical condition in which the ability of the blood to clot is severely reduced, causing the sufferer to bleed severely from even a slight injury. The condition is typically caused by a hereditary lack of a coagulation factor, most often factor VIII.

Source- Dictionary.com

“The Child Bearer” by Anne Sexton

In the poem, the speaker is using the word to describe being passed on like a genetic disease.

blithe

Part of Speech- adjective

Definition- of happy light hearted character or disposition

Source- Merriam- Webster

“I Hear America Singing” by Walt Whitman

In the poem on line 2, the word is used to describe the mechanic’s singing.

gringo

Part of Speech- Noun

Definition-  a term used in Latin America or Spain to refer to a foreigner, especially one of U.S. or British descent (sometimes used facetiously).

Source- Dictionary.com

Puerto Rican Obituary by Pedro Pietri

The term is used in the poem to describe his white neighbors.

Gaping

Part of Speech- verb

Defintion- stare with one’s mouth open wide, typically in amazement or wonder.

Source- dictionary.com

Field Trip to the Museum of Human History by Franny Choi

In the poem on lines 7-8, they are staring in amazement at the artifacts in the clay at the museum.

Oppressed

Part Of Speech-Adjective

Definition-Subject to harsh and authoritarian treatment.

Source -Webster Dictionary

Found in ‚ÄĚ Hair‚ÄĚ by Elizabeth Acevedo (line 17)

This word is is used to describe how people felt about the way they were treated because of their looks.

My Research on Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes, whose full name is actually James Mercer Langston Hughes, was born on February 1, 1902. He was born in the town of Joplin, Missouri and when he was young, his parents separated and he was raised by his grandmother. He eventually moved back with his mother and her new husband at age 13 and the family settled in Cleveland, Ohio. While living in Cleveland, he began to write poetry. The title of the first poem he wrote after graduating high school was called “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”. After attending Colombia University for a year, he went on to working many side jobs as well as becoming a steward for a freighter bound for Africa. When he came back to America from traveling all over Europe and Africa in 1924, he met Arna Bontemps and Carl Van Vechten. He would go on to have a lifelong influential friendships with them. Van Vechten would eventually introduce Hughes to the publisher Alfred A. Knopf, who would publish his first book he wrote his first book called “The Weary Blues” in 1926. His work during the Harlem renaissance helped greatly shape the artistic contribution. His poems were particularly known for their insightful, colorful portrayals of black life in America from the twenties through the sixties.¬†Hughes was also among the first to use jazz rhythms and dialect to depict the life of urban blacks in his work. He published a second volume of poetry, “Fine Clothes to the Jew”, in 1927. In 1940 at age 28, his autobiography called “The Big Sea” was published. Around the same time, Hughes¬†began contributing a column to the¬†Chicago Defender¬†He created a comic character named Jesse B. Semple, better known as “Simple,” for the column. Semple was a black Everyman that Hughes used to further explore urban, working-class black themes, and to address racial issues. He passed away on May 22, 1967¬†from complications of prostate cancer.

 

Work cited:

https://www.biography.com/people/langston-hughes-9346313

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Langston-Hughes

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/langston-hughes

Poetry in Motion: My words to you by Jean Valentine

The poem I found is called “My words to you” by Jean Valentine and I saw it on the R train on my way to work. The first thing that I noticed after reading this poem was the image right next to it.¬† This is because they were flowers and the sun above them, and I had thought about why these specific images were chosen before I read the poem. The title of the poem didn’t really indicate anything about anything emotional. After reading it a few times, the theme of the poem to me seemed to be about love. The last line “love not gone anywhere” (line 5) gives me that idea. The speaker also seems to be talking about someone they love very dearly. “My words to you are the stitches in a scarf/ I don’t want to finish” (lines 1-2) mean to me that the speaker is making a conversation seem like an unfinished scarf. The speaker doesn’t want to finish the scarf because they do not want the conversation with that person to ever end . Even though this poem is short, it took a couple of times to understand it and see that is it just a one long sentenced poem. I think this poem was chosen for the subway because it would seem to make people forget that they are on the train for a bit and read the poem. They would interpret the poem is about love and hopefully think about a loved one rather than the ride to their destination.