The poem Child of the Americas written by Aurora Levins Morales discusses social diversity. In this poem, the speaker is an American woman who came from a mixture of different cultures which comprise not only her heritage, but also her identity as “a child of the Americas”ť. As the author addresses the issues of identity, history and citizenship, the major idea of Aurora Levins Morales is to explain the readers that today, in the society free from slavery, there is a so-called new paradigm of tolerance that gives an opportunity to the descendants of natives and immigrants to view their own identities. This poem is included in the collection of poems, short stories and essays Getting Home Alive in which the author describes her Puerto Rican identity as a mestiza identity, that can be regarded as a “crossroads”ť of many diasporas. Aurora Levins Morales uses a collage of elements that symbolically demonstrate her multiple identity:
I am not African. Africa is in me, but I cannot return.
I am not taĂna. TaĂno is in me, but there is no way back.
I am not European. Europe lives in me, but I have no home there.
I am new. History made me. My first language was spanglish.
I was born at the crossroads
And I am whole (Morales, 1986, p.212).
POETIC SITUATION AND POETIC STRUCTURE
The speaker is the descendent of the immigrants who is talking to all people around her. It is known that America can be regarded as a melting pot of different cultures and diversity. The speaker is one of Americans. The author uses a lot of poetic elements which help her to deliver the main idea of her poem to the readers. The readers’ feelings are created by means of mood and tone. Aurora Levins Morales’ poem creates a positive tone and cheerful mood. The readers feel pride for the speaker, for her respect for the history and love for America and her ancestors. The speaker says: “I am new. History made me”ť (Morales, 1986, p.212).
In the poem Child of the Americas, Aurora Levins Morales’ poetry is eclectic in forms. The author is lyrical and sensorial in her style, and rather visual in her imagery. Aurora Levins Morales does not belong to any literary movement, and it is difficult to categorize her poem into one style or another. The syntax which includes word order and sentence structure in the poem is not complex. It is easy to follow.Â The formation of the grammatical sentences is normal: subject, verb and object. Word order in not shifted, but the author pays special attention to the use of repetitions. Almost all lines have the same structure. Each new sentence starts with the subject I. In addition, the author follows the rule of punctuation. One of the techniques used by the author in her poem is enjambment when the first line doesn’t end in punctuation and goes to the next line. For example, she writes:
I speak English with passion: it’s the
tongue of my consciousness,
a flashing knife blade of crystal, my
tool, my craft (Morales, 1986, p.212).
The title of the poem is Child of the Americas. In the title, the author reveals the main idea and theme of her poetic work. She considers herself to be a child of America, because she is new. This metaphor proves the fact that there are many cultures from which today’s Americans came from. This title plays an important role in the poem as it helps the readers to realize the author’s thoughts.