Bilingual Sestina

Topics: Dominican Republic, Spanish language, United States Pages: 2 (694 words) Published: July 19, 2012
Poetry Analysis
Bilingual Sestina
by Julia Alvarez
Julia Alvarez was born in March 27th 1950 in New York City. When she was only 3 months old her family decided to return to their homeland in Dominican Republic. It seems they wanted to make a difference in their country which at that time was being ruled by the dictator General Rafael Trujillo. In 1960 her family returns to the United States because his father was part of a plot to overthrow country's dictator which it failed and under these circumstances put the whole family in jeopardy and they had to flee the island. Coming to this country and adapting to the language and the culture wasn't easy for Julia. She faced discrimination from the children at school because of her Hispanic ethnicity. Julia always loved stories since she was little she adored hearing them and also telling them, but is when she came to this country she developed her writing skills. Hispanic culture is more oral expression than written, is not very common for a child or teenager to keep a daily journal but it is for an American. Thankfully to this experiences in her life she was able to transformed them into wonderful written pieces.

Since Julia went through the experience of adapting to a different country, culture and language, in this poem she tries to portray what Spanish feels to her and she wants her readers to know this in English with a hint of Spanish, which to me is like a cherry on top. This poem is about the feelings and emotions a person has with two different languages and how hard sometimes is to adapt. We see that when she mentions "the sound Spanish wash over me like warm island waters as I say your soothing names". Spanish feels like home; warm, inviting, comforting, here she relates her country to names in Spanish that make her feel at home and also gives me a glimpse of what being bilingual feels like. Julia describes the feelings when you have two different languages in your head and...
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