English /  Sharon Doubiago'S South America Mi Hija: A Journey Into The Poet'S Psyche.

Sharon Doubiago'S South America Mi Hija: A Journey Into The Poet'S Psyche.

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Autor:  anton  31 December 2010
Tags:  Sharon,  Doubiagos,  America
Words: 1649   |   Pages: 7
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At the first glance I thought that I am going to read portraits of South America.

Then, I found myself reading and traveling through the poet's psyche. South America Mi Hija is a lengthy piece that draws my attention to its details and redundancy . It is a rhetorical and instructional discourse that the poet begins as she starts her journey with her daughter cruising Columbia, Peru, and Ecuador. The poet seems to me to analogize the landscape of both America and the psychology and anatomy of women's body. In this sense, she raises questions about feminine position, gender issues, and social system that govern the relationships between male and female, daughter and mother, man and woman, man and nature, husband and wife. It is also the journey of reunification of mother and daughter, a chance that the poet employs to fully communicate with her teenage child in a didactic way. It is also a journey into myths and legends but with good adaptation and contextualization. Seemingly, most of these mythical names and figures are female-related names that signify different concerns of the poet's psyche.

Reading this chronicled pieces of poetry I dig into the poet's feelings, responsibilities, and new approaches to land and nature. This effort shows the poet's intention to identify with the natural world and its surroundings. I think the poet attempts to come in good terms with her relations to the past, daughter, and men. Noticeably, Doubiago does this impressionistic description with vivid, fresh, and striking language and style, with honesty and intimacy. All of what the poet depicts and mentions to her readers are about real and human situations that every one might be exposed to.

It is the subjective and personal tendency of the poet to publicize the facts of her life and make them her raw material in the volume we read . These events, facts, ups and downs, and experiences constitute the poet's chemistry, electricity, and anatomy. Clearly, this poem is assimilated chronologically with the poet's dreams, fantasy, history, and expectations. All of which are a mixture of the poet's personal and national – if not universal – concerns and interests . I can understand the poet's perplexity and astonishment about what she explores and encounters during the lengthy journey into another continent and landscape. Besides, it is noticeable that Doubiago's feminine identity is in continual flux from the beginning of the poem till the last word of it where "out the window" allows her to explore almost everything her eyes fall upon till she realizes that the " core relationship is not the masculine imbalance , Father and Son " (281) . Therefore, this journey is an exploration of Doubiago's identity, femininity, nature, psychology, and knowledge. This journey enables the poet to communicate with her beloved, intimate, and same – sex daughter and to achieve a kind of self – awareness and consciousness about their gender and identity. It is the mother – daughter conscious relationship that allows her to "love the male, to be a woman, knows the complicity, at the core of the self, with the patriarchy" (266). She does so without defeating submission to other gender / sex, knowing the limitations of both genders that they "don't change the world." I feel fragmented and confused when I continue reading some long pieces of this volume because of the continuations shifting of the poet's tone , rhythm , subject matters , detail , and unknown words and names she mentions in almost every line such as "su madre," "Mi hija," " cally llapi," "Antigua America, novia sumergida," and the like. Sometimes I cannot fellow what she tries to convey and this causes me a lot of troubles understanding the subtexts of her lengthy poem.

Nevertheless, one of the most attractive and striking features of Doubiago's

Poetry is her reliance on the mythical female figures such as Demeter, Persephone, Ishtar, and And Isis. Doubiago, I think, tries to identify her self and her daughter with such legendary goddesses. She wants to restore and refresh the happiness, pleasure, and confidence in one's self and between each other as female persons. I like the way Doubiago repeats some refrains lines, and words such as "out of the window," "beautiful," "darling," "Jesus," "inside," and many other words. This poetic device functions to emphasize the significances of her themes and purposes and creates links between the previous context and the following one maintaining coherence, cohesion, and unity in the whole poem.

Sometimes, I feel what Doubiago feels and expresses when she describes her "culture shock," because this is what happens to every one who travels to other places outside his own birthplace. She mentions her inability to understand people's language, customs, traditions, and life style, and this normal for anyone who travels.

The poet has given up "everything, our home, our things, my man," and the

daughter has given up " everything , your home, your things , high school , first boy, " ( 30 ) .

It is a sense of defeat and alienation inside and outside the selves of both characters. This is an indication of a new shift in the tone that the poet inevitably experiences, which become a phenomenon throughout the poem. Then, the poet offers her own perspective about the pornography that invokes her deep feelings and reactions towards such seductive work that signifies the depressed and the hidden desires and fantasy of every one, male and female. She mentions the men who "look up from their playboy and hiss" and history's pitiful men, who float their parts in the pornographic fantasy, of no attachments" (73). It is the depression and detachment that lead to such pornography.

There are many lines that work as a didactic discourse when Doubiago addresses her daughter advising her to be a good example like her mother, "Before you go to sleep, say a little prayer, Everyday, in every way .It's getting better" (160) , then " what will you take by force , what you may obtain by love ? " (172). She also mentions other didactic phrases to emphasize her vision and position such as "universal culture of sexism," core relationship," "a masculine imbalance."

"South America Mi Hija" appeals to me in its intellectual feminist discourse that the poet masters diversifying her references: mythical goddesses, nature world, human nature, and the Cosmo in general. Doing so makes believe that Doubiago tries to universalize her feminist perspectives and globalize the feminist ideology. Well, I read a lot of multi–cultural references and signs that the poet keeps mentioning throughout the fragmented pieces of the collection. These signs include Asian culture, Indian culture, Russian, Latin America, Greek, and Roman references. All of which revolve around her feminine nature and feminist identity, felling up the space of time and place, where the poet wanders with her self and daughter.

I'm fascinated by the vivacity and dynamicity of the poem where the poet moves and keeps her scenes mobile from place to another. The poet says,

Inside a cave a giant white Virgin blazes

Inside two dozens wind – whipped candles

A half – dozen men circle her,

Truck drivers, brown – striped ponchos

Rising falling about their bodies

In the wild like pyramids (199)

I see the things through Doubiago's eyes and scope that portray the whole scenes in a spasmodic way. Still through the poet's "window," we watch, observe, and imagine the landscape wherever the two female figures wander. The transparent membrane, which Doubiago frames from the beginning of the poem, permits her and us readers to see outside, the spacious landscape employing our senses. Sometimes, I enjoy the imaginary trip where the poet takes me, but other times I feel the agonies of her emotions and psyche.

In general, South America Mi Hija is beautifully depicted and connected presenting a network of references and allusions of many kinds to keep the whole narrative coherent, cohesive, and inferential.


Doubiago, Sharon. (1992). South America Mi Hija. Pittsburgh: U of Pittsburgh P.

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