English 1121 (Prof. Scanlan)
April 19, 2020
Explication of “Immigrant Mother (lovely to me)”
The poem “Immigrant Mother (lovely to me),” by Taiyo Na is a very long formal verse poem and it is also a song that Na wrote. In the poem, Na is thanking his mother for everything she has done for her children. How she went through a lot to make sure that her kids had food and a good education. How she started dating horrible men because she felt like she had nobody. How she worked all the time and barely had any time for herself. While trying to take care of her kids she had to communicate with people and since she didn’t know much English, she struggled to speak to many people. The two lines in the first stanza of the poem “It takes a whole lot to leave your homeland / And raise a few children with your own hands,” show how the mother went through a lot to take care of her children. The poetry terms that these two lines show are denotation, connotation, assonance, consonance, and enjambment.
In the first line, “It takes a whole lot to leave your homeland,” Na shows the readers how his mother had to leave her homeland. The tone in this line is sad. Na is showing the readers how it was very difficult for her to leave, especially when it is her homeland, a place where she most likely had friends and family who loved her and who she loved. The word “leave” means to go away, and it can be a good or a bad thing, but in this line, “leave” connotes a bad time. A sad and hard time where she had to leave a lot of things behind and start a new life somewhere else. The word “homeland” is someone’s native land. In this line, “homeland” connotes love. A place where she was happy and loved. Assonance and consonance are being used in this line. Assonance is found in the words “whole” and “homeland,” repeating the sound “oh.” Consonance is found in the letter “L,” using the words “whole,” “lot,” “leave,” and “homeland.”
In the second line, “And raise a few children with your own hands,” Na shows the readers how his mother had to take care of her children all by herself. The tone in this line is lonely. Na is showing the readers that she was all alone while taking care of her children and how she didn’t have anyone to help her. The word “raise” means to take care of. In this line, “raise” connotes challenge. it must be very difficult to take care of children alone. The word “children” means someone’s daughter or son. In this line, “children” connotes challenge. It’s very hard to take care of children all alone. Assonance and consonance are being used in this line. Assonance is found in the words “takes” and “raise,” repeating the sound “a.” Consonance is found in the letter “s,” using the words “raise” and “hands.”
When both lines are combined, an enjambment is shown in between the words “Homeland” and “And.” It shows how there is a continuation of the first line to the second line. In these two lines, Na shows the readers that his mother had to leave her native land to take care of her children all by herself. The tone in these two lines is sad and lonely. It shows how she had to leave everything and everyone she loved behind. It also shows how much she had to do in order to take care of her children and how difficult and lonely it was for her to do that since she had to do everything all by herself with no one to help.
(Word Count: 615)