Close Reading of a Poem
“Child of the Americas” by Aurora Levins Morales
Faten Algazzali
November 23, 2015
Angela Mullennix
Close Reading of a Poem
In the poem “Child of the Americas” the author Aurora Levins Morales tackles the concept of diversity and the struggle of finding your identity in the melting pot that is America, a country made up of many cultures, ethnicities, and traditions . This is a conflict that many children of immigrants face after leaving their homeland and trying to acclimate to this new world. As a child of immigrants myself I can very much relate to Ms. Morales’s grapple. The author uses key literary conventions and poetic devices like metaphors and symbolism to get her point across.
She starts off the poem trying to identify herself. “I am a child of the Americas, a light skinned mestiza of the Caribbean…”(Barnet, Burto, & Cain, P 1135). Mestiza is defined as a woman of mixed race, especially the offspring of a Spaniard and Indian-American, making her of mixed heritage and descendants whom have migrated from one country to another already. “… A child of many diaspora, born into this continent at the crossroads”(Barnet, Burto, & Cain, P 1135). The book states that “diaspora literally means ‘scattering’; the term is used especially to refer to the dispersion of the Jews outside Israel from the sixth century BCE, when they were exiled to Babylonia, to the present time”(Barnet, Burto, & Cain, P 1135). Aurora was born in Puerto Rico to a Puerto Rican mother and Jewish father and moved to the mainland of the United States with her family when she was thirteen years old. By this point in her life she had already identified herself with her birth country, Puerto Rico, yet when she moved to the mainland she was forced to look deeper into the various cultures; the crossroads, that make up her identity.
She then proclaims “I am a U.S. Puerto Rican Jew, a product of the ghettos of New York I have never known”(Barnet,…

Close Reading of a Poem