"Immigrants in our own Land": An Analysis

What's up, dudes!? Buckle your seatbelts because I am going to take you on a poetic journey fueled by coffee, candy, and the fear of a test tomorrow.

Before I walked into class on Tuesday, I had no clue who Jimmy Santiago Baca was, let alone any of his poems. Poetry and I don't get along and I actually dislike it with a burning passion. "Immigrants in our own Land", however, is REAL. It's one of the few poems that I actually like. It's not all... ya know... flowers and sunshine and all that bullshit. It describes life exactly as it is and Jimmy Santiago Baca does not try to make the overall message of the story sound 'nice'; he tells it as it is, from the eyes of an immigrant.

The first stanza talks about immigrants actually coming into America. Baca talks about how many immigrants didn't get to finish high school, but are able to use common sense (which to me, is just as valuable). They are expected to fit in with society. All immigrants have one thing in common: they are all searching for opportunity and ultimately a better life. Basically, they come to America hoping to live the American dream.

Here's where shit gets real. The next few stanzas talk about the reality of being an immigrant. Baca describes the men that are there and the segregation that occurs in America. The jobs given to these immigrants suck and Baca acknowledges that. The expectations Baca has are far from reality. The people described in these stanzas don't care about immigrants at all.

Towards the end, Baca described life in jail, and it seems like it's just the same routine over and over again. The people in jail don't seem super menacing and almost seem to care about Baca (to an extent). Life... changes you. The experiences you go through mold you. Baca acknowledges this in the last stanza as well.

How does one talk about theme? Is it a phrase? A single word? When I read the poem, I thought of how sometimes we expect too much, and then reality doesn't live up to those expectations. This especially relates to immigrants because they often come to America in hopes of being able to live a better life, but often times, many of those immigrants live in poverty. The mood is pretty sad to me, honestly. I've seen some of the things that Baca talks about in my life and it isn't the best, tbh. It's also sad because most immigrants have that... hope. They believe that life will be better in America, but in many cases, it's just as hard as life in other places, or maybe worse. What I like about this poem is that even though it's pretty straightforward, it's powerful, ya know? Baca doesn't sugarcoat the lives of immigrants. It's all real and true to how life for many immigrants is. No flowers and sunshine and rainbows and stuff.

Jessica Parra's analysis of this poem helped me understand it a whole lot more in terms of literary devices and all that fun stuff. Analyzing poems is something I am terrible at because I struggle with saying what I wanna say in a way that makes sense. I also just hate having to analyze poems, because that takes away the... mystery (I guess???) of poetry. Poetry, to me, is something that should be open to interpretation and once you start analyzing poetry and trying to add a meaning to every aspect of a poem... it sucks. But her analysis was simple and easy for my overly caffeinated brain to understand.

Sooooonnnnnggggg: Drive by Incubus. I'm tired and sick.





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