The four poems assigned for today were about the meaning of freedom and finding who you are by conquering the evil in the world to get to the good in life. Each of these poems shows a new perspective on freedom and acceptance, which allows a broad range of interpretation.
In Julia Alavarez’s “Queens, 1963” a black family’s freedom is tested. The community is made up of diverse immigrants, each relocating to Queens because their freedom was limited and questioned. However, once a new ‘different’ family joins the neighborhood, the community (including the speaker herself) judges the new family. The community as a whole is being hypocritical, to judge the new family. The people of Queens now show the same characteristics of the enemies of their origins, showing a complete circle of racism and segregation. At the end of the poem you get a sense of regret towards the prejudice she showed the new family. Reflecting back on the incident, the speaker understands that everyone has the right to freedom.
In the poem “Theme for English B” by Langston Hughes, a 22 colored male is questioning his place in society. He starts off by stating instructions given by his teacher, a paper on him. The teacher oversimplifies the complex topic, which annoys the speaker because the paper is so general and intricate. The speaker reveals who he is through an external description and then gets lost in the complexity of the assignment. This confusion and chaos shows that he is still trying to find his ‘freedom’, when he reflects on the topic it shows that he is just like the teacher in a way that he is American, and holds the same rights as the instructor.
Again, in “Fork” by Jeffrey Harrison, a student is angry towards a professor because the student is on the road to finding himself. The student shows his anger by taking a fork as a symbol of motivation, and succeeds with out the aid of the teacher. In the end the student fought through the bad to get to the good, just like in Lucille Clifton’s “this morning (for the girls of eastern high school). Clifton saw herself in a present day Baltimore high school student because just like in Clifton’s time of segregation, she survived the ‘jungle’ and the Baltimore girl was in the same position as Lucille Clifton was in at her age, battling the ‘jungle’ of a public school.