Green Chile Poem

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  • Topic: Mexico, Black pepper, Solanaceae
  • Pages : 3 (343 words )
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  • Published : March 18, 2013
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The Symbols and Significance of “Green Chile”

Jimmy Santiago Baca’s “Green Chile” is a poem of love and sacrifice, symbolized

in the course that there’s two types of chile peppers. The poet expresses that he prefers

“red chile over my eggs / and potatoes for breakfast” (Lines 1-2), but his grandmother

“loves green chile.” He states in his poem that “red chile ristras decorate my door, / dry on

my roof, and hang from my eaves” (Lines 3-4), resembling the red as a southwestern

mexican color used for festivities, however, the red peppers are not edible to many because

their too spicy and they are not liked by his grandmother. She would often cook dinner

with the typical Spanish side dishes, rice and beans; adding a combination of green

chile, which appeals unusual, more intimidating and strange, while the red chile is not as

intriguing. Although the “green chile” are not his favorite he eats them out of respect

towards his grandmother that raised him all his life and it’s part of his heritage in their


The grandmother references the peppers to “her little prince (Line 35), which is a fantasy

to the author, her grandson. The peppers acquire on a existence of the image, in the

grandmother’s and author’s mind set. They’re “her sacrifice,” which leads the readers to

believe she considers the peppers as her own children and giving up her life to protect her

grandson and the rest of her dear family. The green chile is interpret by the grandmother in

the poem by a sensuality produce similar to a young flaming lover as she compares it to “a

well dressed gentleman at the door,” whom she tales sensuously in her hand, fondling oil

serpent and her mouth full of fulfillment. The author, red chile symbolizes strength and

history, while his grandmother prefers green chile which symbolizes their adolescence and

passion. The poet Baca makes a beautiful correlation with an inimitable significance in his...
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