World Literature Paper

Topics: Poetry, Middle East, Ravi Shankar Pages: 6 (1946 words) Published: March 26, 2012
The theme “home” incorporates many different meanings that can be either a place, person, item, or subject of memory in which impacts a particular individual’s experience. These different meanings were distinctly embellished in the art of poetry to express the significant value of “home.” The conditions that each poet faced during exile or crisis from the Middle East, Asia, and other countries were illustrated through verse in similar techniques and purpose. The ideas encompassed through each verse conveys deep struggle of lost, regain, and hope for their home. Even though the poets had nothing but “memories and the language, the portable world I [they] could carry” (Nafisi). Their loyalty to their home brought out strength, will, insight to break oppression were embedded meticulously within art of poetry. The influence of the poets strut the lives of many people that has shared the same sentiment. The art of poetry flourished during these harsh periods to maintain a universal understanding of their personalized meaning of a home: a place of refuge/protection, fragmentation of self, and strength/hope in forging a new identity. I. Home as refuge/protection

In Ode to my Mother’s Hair by Joseph Legaspi and The Road Back by Pak Chesam, home is expressed as a matter of refuge and protection. The two poems are similar in the fact that “home” is defined as a symbolic figure, which is the mother. For example, in the poem Ode to my Mother’s Hair, the comparison of the mother’s hair as “dark as cuttlefish ink,” (Legaspi 9) signifies a mother’s natural instinct when danger is sensed. This analogy provides a vivid imagery on a mother’s character in that they would defend and protect, like a cuttlefish secreting ink, when danger lurks. Legaspi powerfully integrates dramatic use of diction and metaphors of the narrator’s mother as the nurturer and protector; which symbolically emphasize qualities of home. The poet highlights on “teetered and threatened to split open,/exposing the diorama/of our barely protected lives” (Legaspi 11); which indicates that although the family was living in poverty, the mother had the strength to protect the children. In the event of when the mother’s hair was cut off after the father disappearance, signifies an identity renewal for the mother’s role. She now possesses the role, as not only the nurturer, but also the provider and prime protector as father once did. The absence of a father figure gave primitive rise to the mother’s role to shelter, shield, and sustain the household; which conveys distinguishing features of their personalized home. In the poem, The Road Back, Chaesam incorporates an analogy of when the mother “unties the starlight she carries back on her forehead,/and shakes loose the moonlight/ that clings on her sleeves,” (Chaesam 20) emphasizing that she embodies attributes of a strong, independent figure. Chaesam underlines that although the narrator was living in poverty, mother’s presence gave hope, light, and encouragement that things nothing is more wealthy than the wealthy of a unified love in family. Her existence conveys similar aspects of a home in a way that she brings forth refuge when danger stumbles upon. Furthermore, Chaesam entices the reader “to acknowledge that despite the lack of material success, this woman’s courage, dignity, and spirit are an inner wealth, uncounted in the eyes of the world perhaps, but visible nonetheless in the eyes of the poet and world of the poem” (Black 41). The mother provides a spiritual sense of security and trust that cannot be replaced by any other person or object. The predominant female role that the mother sustains compares to the generalized meaning of home: a place that will always remain, where one can find their way back, and rely on for safety. II. Homes stolen/occupied/violated

When a home is stolen, not only a shelter is being robbed from, but also the sense of security is violated and no longer can be repaired. In the poems, A...
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