James Baldassano, October 24th 2012
In today’s seminar session, we discussed a few things. We started out by taking a look at works of literature from the 1800s, such as Jane Eyre. It was a novel by Charlotte Bronte, about a female character going through her life. I had never actually read it, but after a quick overview, it seemed like it would be an enthralling experience to do so.
But what interested me most was when we received our poems. I received a poem entitled “Ing Grish” by an asian poet named John Yau. At first glance, it appeared to be nothing but a bunch of jibberish conglomerated into stanzas. With words such as ‘jigaboo’ and “dungaree” and ‘Scumglish’ it seemed hardly to be doing the English language any justice. After reading it a little, however, and divulging myself into the poem, I had come across a whole new meaning to it.
To me, it was a poem about the poet and his life style in America. He grew up as a typical American child, but did not consider himself an expert in his asian heritage. He sarcastically mocks the ignorant way we view asian culture, as we do when we make fun of how they speak with accents. However, at the end, he states his mother’s discontent with how he never bothered to learn the Chinese language. In his line “”I do not know Chinese…. and that was one of the greatest sorrows of her life, the other being the birth of my brother”, I feel he finishes a serious line with a somewhat light hearted line.
All in all, I look forward to performing this poem in class, hopefully sooner rather than later!