Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Internal Structure #1: Sonrisas by Pat Mora p.1005

Mora sets the poem of Sonrisas in, "a doorway between two rooms," this interesting place symbolises to me the door to two different places/worlds to the speaker in the poem. In the first room the speaker observes uptight women in "crisp beige suits, quick beige smiles that seldom sneak into their eyes." This observations sharply constrasts to the relaxed view of people in the other room. "laughter whirls with steam from fresh tamales sh, sh, mucho ruido (a lot of noise)", this atmosphere seem happier and more comfortable in the eyes of the speaker than the first one. Relaying these observations of both rooms over the noises of coffee being brewed, "i hear quiet clicks, cups of black coffee, click, click," Mora shows an example of the descriptive structure that is the base of her poem. The step by step way the speaker wanders around two rooms, describing the people inside and their movement, is the discrusive process of organizing the observations one by one. This was interesting to me because it a very limited point of view for the reader.

I also noticed how there were only two stanzas in the poem. This I thought was interesting because the speaker is meant to be "between two rooms." The first stanza is the observation of the people in one room and the second stanza, is the speaker observing the people in the other room. The different language used in the second stanza and second room, helps make the two rooms even more of seperate worlds. Throughout these observations, the speaker seems to be comparing and contrasting both worlds.


7 comments:

Michaela said...

The parallels that the speaker draws between the two rooms and the two stanzas make this poem really interesting. For example, the women in the first room are drinking "cups of black/coffee," which is strong and harsh (one could say, to the tastebuds), whereas the women in the second room drink "sweet/milk coffee," giving them a more inviting, sweet vibe. The first room is so quiet that the speaker can hear the "quiet clicks," but in the second room, the women have to quiet themselves down because they cannot contain their laughter.

Lauren said...

We picked both of the same poems WEIRD! Anyways I observed the same thing as Michaela, that the parellel structure of the poem (in the two stanzas) shows the direct comparison between the two groups of women without actually directly comparing them. I thought that was really interesting in the internal structure of the poem.

nabeel said...

Wow I picked the same two poems as you guys as well, eerie.
I found that this one did a great job of contrasting the speakers two worlds (rooms) in separate sections of the poem. I thought this was a great method of utilizing internal structure. I also found that the relationship between the two rooms was very interesting. While the speaker does describe both worlds as though she were a member of both, it is important to realize that she is in the doorway, and therein not either of the two rooms. I feel as though that may even merit this poem being split into three sections; the first being her describing she is in the doorway, and the second and third being the two rooms.

tommy said...

Nabeel brings up and interesting point, however I think that there is more evidence that suggests the two aspects of the poem. Although she stands in a doorway, inevitably, she will choose one or the other. And since there are two cultures she contrasts, it leads to the idea of duality.

Also, despite being in the crossroad of two rooms, it is not as if she can only choose one and never venture into the other. Doors both open and close, allowing her to freely access both sides of who she is.

Chris said...

I agree that the setting is the very essence of this poem. I think the brewing and drinking of coffee signifies the similarities of the two different groups of women, but the way they drink their coffee, black, or with cream or sugar, indicates the contrast between the two groups. They may have some things in common, but from a superficial view, they are like "black" and white.

Olympia said...

I did this poem as well, and i think that it stereotypes both sets of women. From the title of the poem, as "Sonrisas" is a spanish word for smilies, i think that the author is having her character prefer and relate to the room with the "senoras" and their "Mexican" ways of conversing and spending time togeather.

ashleigh said...

Pat Mora craftily shows the difference between what she sees in both rooms. When I read about the first room she saw, I found it boring and structured. We can Cleary see the difference even with the description of the coffee the women in each room were drinking. Black coffee symbolizes sticking to traditional rigors, while the women in the other room were drinking “sweet milk coffee”, and laughing, showing their ability to go outside of a structured life style.