Heritage: American Book Award and Poem

Topics: American Book Award Pages: 2 (700 words) Published: December 4, 2009
Jabbari Edwards
Professor Murphy
November 2, 2009
Eng 1101

Analysis of “Heritage” by Lorna Dee Cervantes

In the poem “Heritage” by Lorna Dee Cervantes the speaker goes back to the place of her families decent to find her heritage, only to discover despise and hatred from her people. Although she is of the same decent and race of the people the see her as a traitor because she was raised American. The poems imagery shows how harsh the people are acting towards Lorna Dee Cervantes and describes the setting. The poem gives the impression that heritage is an object. This shows that in Mexican culture heritage is more than skin deep a person has to actually live their culture and heritage to be accepted.

Throughout the poem Cervantes describes how she is gets a negative vibe from the citizens. The poem is set in the streets of Oaxaca Mexico. The poem gives the reader the notion that Lorna is not being welcomed with opened arms. The author states “The children run to me/laughing, spinning me blind and silly /they call to me in words of another language” (lines 3- 5). These lines show the children are making fun of her, the lines also emphasize her confusion. The poet does not truly understand why she is being treated in this manner. Throughout the poem the people continue show their disapproval of her by calling her names, for example the author states “But Mexico gags ESPUTA”(lines 10-11). Esputa means spit and she is a prostitute. The people may be calling her these names because she is dressed like an American and they see that she is not the same as them. Although she has not tried to separate herself she will always be separated because she was born American. She is just trying to find her self and her heritage In the poem the author mentions her name twice, although she can look the part and act as if she is one of the natives she cannot let her name go. The author states in the poem “My name hangs about me...
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