JUDITH ORTIZ COFER
In this essay, I am going to focus on the poem of the Old Women by Judith Ortiz Cofer based on the perspective of the poet’s biography and the poem itself. Before proceeding I would like to introduce the poet for better understanding.
Judith Ortiz Cofer, a native of Puerto Rico, is the author of several books, including Call Me María, An Island Like You, The Meaning of Conseulo, Silent Dancing: A Partial Remembrance of a Puerto Rican Childhood, and The Line in the Sun. Her work has been anthologized in The O. Henry Prize Stories, The Pushcart Prize, and The Best American Essays. Her stories about coming-of-age experiences in Puerto Rican communities outside of New York City and her poems and essays about cultural conflicts of immigrants to the U.S. mainland have made Judith Ortiz Cofer a leading literary depicting the Puerto Rican immigrant experience.
Judith Ortiz Cofer was born in the small town of Hormigueros, Puerto Rico. When she was four years old, her parents came to the United States and settled in Paterson, New Jersey. As the daughter of a frequently absent military father stationed at Brooklyn's Navy Yard and an uprooted mother nostalgic for her beloved island, Judith Ortiz Cofer spent portions of her childhood commuting between Puerto Rico and New Jersey. Even though most of her schooling was in New Jersey, she lived for extended periods at her grandmother's house in Puerto Rico and attended the local schools. This back-and-forth movement between her two cultures became a vital part of her poetry and fiction. There is a strong island presence in her narratives, and the authenticity with which she captures life on the island is as powerful as her descriptions of the harsh realities of the Paterson community.
When Judith Ortiz Cofer's family lived in Puerto Rico, she was part of her mother's extended family, even though she was accused of sounding like a "gringa" when she spoke Spanish.... [continues]
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