The Writer Is The Matador In The Empty Ring, By Judith Ortiz Cofer: An Analysis Of The Poef
994 Words4 Pages
Mary Teresa Toro
Dr. Kevin Dupre
28 January 2014
“The writer is the matador in the empty ring”
Judith Ortiz Cofer
Woman In Front of the Sun
In her address at the Calhoun Community College Writers’ Conference on April 11, 2013, Judith Ortiz Cofer described herself as a “Georgia mango, a fruit that cannot be found in nature.” Ortiz Cofer, who does not consider herself bilingual, writes primarily in English about her life in Puerto Rico, New Jersey, and Georgia. Her writings in both poetry and prose span not only a spatial gap, but a linguistic and cultural one. Ortiz Cofer feels that she is “…an outsider wherever she goes, a ‘gringa’ in Puerto Rico and an immigrant with a Spanish accent in New Jersey.” (Bost) In her essay Bost describes this mixture as “mestizaje […] a paradigm for the ‘internal contradictions’ within identity.” She goes on to define mestiza theory as a theory that:
“highlights the fusion of differences and provides models for analyzing the transracial border-crossings. As an inclusive concept, mestizaje encompasses the multiple cultural, racial, and national elements that meet within peoples of the Americas, and highlights the mixtures, negotiations, and frictions that define American history.”
This “border-crossing” is especially evident in the work of Puerto Rican authors who frequently write in English about their Puerto Rican lives, as does Ortiz Cofer. In his essay Michael Dowdy states that “Ortiz Cofer’s ‘The Latin Deli’ thus imagines a Latina/o ‘art of poetry’ grounded in Pue...
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BUT MY BABY…”
Cullen wrote “In the face of accomplished fact, I cannot say This will never do, but I feel that it ought never to have been done” (Bloom’s Major Poets, 19).
David Chinitz points out that Hughes was the first writer to “capture the quality of genuine blues in performance while [their] remaining effective as poems” (Chinitz, 177). Patterson noted that some have seen “paucity of meaning” in Hughes use of “simple form and language.” without realizing that “black poetry on the whole must be heard, rather than read silently, for one to realize its emotional scope.”
In the end, the greatness and universality of Hughes poetry, as Donald B. Gibson stated in the introduction to Modern Black Poets: A Collection of Critical Essays, lies in the fact that “he addressed his poetry to the people, specifically to black people” (Poetry Foundation).