1. Choose a poem we have read so far that you like and are intrigued by.
2. Use the library databases to find an article on that poem or on the poet who wrote it. It can be literary criticism (someone’s article about their interpretation of the poem) or biographical (details about the poet’s life and background). Don’t use an article about a different poem, though.
3. Read the article and highlight passages that you think are interesting, or that make good points. It’s okay if you don’t understand everything in the entire article – literary criticism can be challenging to read! Focus on the points that you do understand. If you feel like the entire article is confusing, choose a different one, though. No one wants you to feel lost and confused.
4. Write a brief paragraph (three or four sentences is great) about the poem or poet. Incorporate at least one quote from the poem and one quote from the article. Remember that quotes should be integrated into your own sentences.
use only this source’s Database https://library.tccd.edu/databases/subjects.
Feminism in Judith Cofer’s Quinceañera
Judith Cofer’s Quinceañera is a unique poetic piece which presents some tantalizing sentiments regarding the chauvinistic state of the society, and its impact on the experiences of women in their transitional phases. This poem revolves around the story of an unnamed narrator, who is experiencing adolescence-induced transformations. Interestingly, she feels uncomfortable with the changes occurring in her, especially due to the double-standards in her society with respect to gender differences. Such a frustrating feeling is evidenced in lines 11 to 18: “I am to wash my cloths as if the little trickle of blood I believe travels from my heart to the world were shameful. Is not the blood of saints and men in battle beautiful? Do Christ’s hands not bleed into your eyes from His cross?” By comparing the society’s demeaning view of her menstrual blood and the glorification of blood when it comes to male figures, Cofer manages to paint the double-standards. A similar perspective is shared by Darlene Pagan, as she explores the themes of ethnicity, semantic shifts, and feminism in Judith Cofer’s poetic works. Pagan (1) believes that Cofer understands how “knowledge can be defined in demeaning and damaging terms if a young woman is humiliated or ruined.” Pagan’s sentiments are quite evident in how the narrator’s knowledge of her transition from childhood to womanhood appears damaging due to the humiliation she faces (emphasis on the need to cover her blood). Clearly, Quinceañera is a unique piece which questions the grounds of predominant paternalistic attitudes towards the position of women in the society.
Cofer, Judith, O. Quinceañera. Poetry Foundation. Retrieved from https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/57812/quincenanera
Pagan, Darlene. Ethnicity, Feminism, and Semantic Shifts in the Work of Judith Ortiz Cofer. Ann Arbor, MI: MPublishing, University of Michigan Library.