22 January 2013
Reading Response: Pigeons
I find it easy to relate to this poem. This poem discusses socio-economic characteristics of Hispanics. In my opinion the author is correct in describing Hispanics as the pigeons of "Birdland" (Hernandez, 1). I can connect with this poem on a personal level because I am Hispanic. "Pigeons have feathers of a different color. They are too bright to be dull
and too dull to be bright
so they are not accepted anywhere" (Hernandez,10-13) This quote jumped out at me as soon as I read. When I arrived in the US 13 years ago, I didn’t one word of English. Sooner then I wanted, I was enrolled at Hoffman Boston Elementary school. The school was located 5 minutes from the Pentagon, so most families that lived around were military families. There were 26 Hispanic students, my sister and I included in this school of 400. This meant most were either Caucasian or African American students, my language didn’t fit in at this school and neither did my skin color.
"When was the last time you saw a pigeon
in someone's home?
Unless they bleached their feathers white
and try to pass off as doves,
you will never see pet pigeons.
Besides, their accents give them away
when they start cooing." (Hernandez, 19-25) This quote I think is not really talking about a "home" in line 2, but more a social circle, or acceptance into a culture. Now that I have been in the US for 13 years, I do socially fit in with my peers, we dress the same, and I have lost my "accent that gave me away" years ago, so we speak the same. I guess when the author speaks of "bleached their feathers white and try to pass off as doves" Feathers really stands for things like clothing, values, and norms. This poem missed something though, although racism isn't a thing we see and hear about everyday it still exist, the reason for that is...
Cited: Hernandez, David. "Pigeons" Making Literature Matter. Eds. John Schilb and John Clifford. New York: Bedford/St.Martin , 2000. 1023-1024. Print
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