Category Archives: glossary


Part of speech: verb


1.  Behave in an immoral, corrupt, or sordid way.

Source: Oxford Dictionary

Found in “Pop goes Korea” by Franny Choi, line 54, twelfth stanza.

“Seoul Bo-peeps and OGs/ ‘Til it’s all out of glow-tweets and clone sleaze”

Choi anthropomorphize the capital of Korea, Seoul, as a hip and modern city, but its ultimately just copying much of its behavior, good and bad, from other cities. As the poem talks about the rapid globalization of South Korea, she compares this growth to a sort of high which will come to a sudden crash once the nation reaches the end of it.


Part of speech: noun


1. A rousing or uplifting song identified with a particular group, body, or cause.

1.1. A solemn patriotic song officially adopted by a country as an expression of national identity.

Source: Oxford Dictionary

Found in “Pop goes Korea” by Franny Choi, line 14, third stanza.

“And six sugarplum makeup stores all in a row/ One of which is just called ‘The Face Shop’/ All of which are blasting the same Top 40 super-synth laser fantasy playground anthem”

What Choi is referencing as “Top 40 super-synth laser fantasy playground anthem” isn’t simply just any top 40 music, but specifically the top 40 music in Korea, which is usually Korean pop, or K-pop.  The poem examines the rapid commercialization and globalization of Korean culture, which arguably gained traction due to the popularity of K-pop, still one of the most popular Korean entertainment consumed worldwide. Choi compares K-pop to an anthem since it is one of the widest known representation of modern Korea, it might as well be what the new nation identifies with.


Part of speech: noun


1. Required or expected to justify actions or decisions; responsible.

2.  Able to be explained or understood.

Source: Oxford Dictionary

Found in “Field Trip to the Museum of Human History” by Franny Choi, line 17, ninth stanza

“In place of modern-day accountability practices,/ the institution known as “police” kept order”

The poem explores police brutality through the view of people raised in a society where polices do not exist. Choi only references what replaced the police’s role of law enforcement as “accountability practices”.While vague, it suggests that the system revolves around people holding themselves accountable for their wrongdoings rather than an institution like the police.


Part of speech: noun

Definition:  A police officer’s truncheon.

Source: Oxford Dictionary

Found in “Field Trip to the Museum of Human History” by Franny Choi, line 9, fifth stanza

a “nightstick,” so called for its use/ in extinguishing the lights in one’s eyes.”

I don’t have much experience with law enforcement so didn’t know what a night stick was. I first assumed the word nightstick meant a flashlight or some sort of device used to blind people by the context of the poem. Knowing it’s actually another word for the club policemen carries give the following line a much darker context since its not speaking of policemen blinding people literally, but explaining how they would “knock someone’s light out”, beat them till they were unconscious.


Part of speech: noun

Definition: The process of claiming something back or of reasserting a right.

Source: Oxford Dictionary

Found in “Hair” by Elizabeth Acevedo, line 19

“Hair, a reclamation.”

Acevedo’s poem revolves around the wider topic of racial aggression and view and reveals how small these offenses by talking about one topic, her hair. She speaks of how black hair, specifically her kinky curls,  are seen as wild and something to be fixed while revealing the wider cultural issue that lead to these view such as how black people are pressured to ‘whiten’ themselves. So when Acevedo says “Hair, a reclamation” she means she’s asserting her pride towards her hair and asserting her position against racist offenses that claims her hair is something that needs to be fixed.


Part of Speech- Noun

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


“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.


Part of Speech- Verb

Definition- inflict a violent and disfiguring injury on.


“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.


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.


“The Child Bearer” by Anne Sexton

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


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.


Part of Speech- Noun

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


Puerto Rican Obituary by Pedro Pietri

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