The Time of the Ancient Immigrant

It is an ancient immigrant,

Being in scared of being stopped and being attacked,

With a fearful gaze, he asks,

When will it happen to me?

The streets are wide and busy,

He wonders when it will be his time,

Some eyes meet and conversations start,

They understand each other’s misfortune.

He then sits down on the bus stop,

Starts talking about his misery,

The person next to him listens,

The ancient immigrant start sobbing.

The person next to him does nothing but agrees,

“I’m tired of all the racism and discrimination!” he screams.

The person next to him just walks away,

They were scared of being the center of attention.

“I came to the Unites States for a better life for me and my family!

Why am I not being helped? Why am I being treated like a slave?

Just because I have no citizenship, why do I have to suffer?

Before coming here, I thought that the American Dream was really true,

He thinks to himself.

“I walk from home to this bus stop,

Just to work in a place that pays me nothing,

15 cents for a shirt that is sold for hundreds of dollars in big stores,

Being in the fields, breaking our backs.”

Every day the sun goes up,

Hoping for changes to occur,

Waiting to feel a little bit of the American Dream,

However, every day seems the same.

Racism and hate crime always occurring,

Occurring in front, in the back on the side,

Miles away, everywhere.

He starts sobbing again.

Remembering all the jobs he has done as he walks,

 The streets full of street vendors,

Being arrested and hurt because of the “crime” of selling.

He realizes this country is full of misery.

Walking more, he then starts thinking about the place he left,

He misses his culture, it seems he has forgotten about it,

Wanting to go back, because even if he was poor,

Home was home and his identity.

As he walked, time and space didn’t matter,

He was far from “home” and was already really late,

He goes back from where he came from,

Once again thinking how miserable he feels.

It’s late at night, as he sees red, white and blue,

He hides his face and his heart starts racing,

The ancient immigrant starts laughing,

Shouldn’t I be scared of criminals?

 He gets home, hoping for better news,

Trying to forget the outside he turns on the TV,  

Just as he sits down, he hears “Trump”,

And again all the fear and melancholy comes back.

“Why can you just leave us alone!” he screams.

“We are not criminals, we are just trying to survive!”

“Stop blaming us for everything that happens!”

The ancient immigrant, just walks away and goes to sleep,

 Because that’s the only way, to numb his pain.

Hoping for the next morning for changes to occur.

I decided to make my parody based on “The Ancient Mariner” which focuses on the still occurring events of the life of many immigrants who reside in the United States. As I can relate to the topic itself, I was able to put in personal experiences, as well as experiences within my community. My parody talks about the life of an immigrant who is “illegal” and the fears as he walks through the streets plus the jobs they are mostly obliged to do in order to survive, and how he is willing to put up with it. The ancient immigrant in this case also becomes a symbol that represents the daily life and trauma many others feel. I decided to change the flow and the complex language of the poem to a more “to the point” type of language. The reason I did this was because we live a modern day, where easy and to the point literature is being appreciated and read more. Unlike the original version by Coleridge, the ancient immigrant seems to have an audience within the poem, but we also become his audience as we are able to read what he is feeling and thinking. At the same time, the end of my parody, does not end with the same message of Coleridge, but ends more in a melancholic mood. I made this decision upon where we stand now in modern life, where even though we hope for the best the next day, nothing seems to changing, everything seems to be going to the worst. People have also given up hope.

Hermelinda Ralac

The Harp’s Divinity

The harp was seen as a great representation of the identity and a symbol for hope for the Irish culture and society. In the poem by Thomas Moore “Dear Harp of my Country” we are able to see how Moore not only presents the harp as symbol of patriotism but also gives the harp the power to protect the people. He does this by the way he talks about it, through the personification he evokes to the harp, he makes it seem as if the harp has the voice of the people that allows the people to continue fighting when there are dark times. He mentions how the moment the harp is being played, it brings out the suffering, sadness and desperation its people have, transforming the harp as a communication device in order for other people to know the painful history they have lives in poverty, injustices and losses. He also creates this sense of divinity towards the harp as mentions how if the harp is not played, the voice of the people are not heard. He also mentions about willing to die for it, as for my understanding, he states that even if the sound the harp was the last thing he/they heard they it was enough, because as they head the sound of it as the sound of peace and survival.

  • Hermelinda Ralac

From Union to DTLA: 2019

A recreation of “London” by William Blake

Walking to Downtown LA,

Fifteen minutes away from home,

Where everything becomes from rags to riches,

There, one can realized were the money and importance has gone.

From every word of astonishment by a tourist,

You can see the poverty around it,

You can see police brutality,

You can sense discrimination and racism,

Images that cannot be forgotten nor un-felt.

Walking by a fancy place,

You know that even though you live right “next door”,

You don’t belong, you can’t afford.

But most of all, you live in the place where no help is given,

You are living in an expensive shitty apartment,

 Where crime happens every hour,

You are living in a place where you are another nobody,

Because you are distinguished by social class, color and the way you look.

  • Hermelinda Ralac

The Ideal Solitude

Buttermere Lake, with Part of Cromackwater, Cumberland, a Shower exhibited 1798 Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851 Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856

The painting Buttermere Lake: A shower by Joseph William Turner seems to resemble the words of the poem The Foster Mother’s Tale. The poem talks about the life of a boy whom was found in the woods but rescued by the husband of the woman telling the Tale. As the boy grew up, he wasn’t the best at being outgoing not reading or praying, but he enjoyed the nature the birds specifically as the poem tells us. At some point in the poem, the boy learns how to read, however it is “making [him] think of unlawful thoughts”. As the boy who wanted to go around in nature, he decided to go away alone in to a voyage on the sea, and discovered golden islands, and when he did he decided to live there and “he lived and died among the savage men.” To me the painting clearly pictures the life of the boy and the desires of him wanting to be alone with nature. Although the mood in the painting seems gloomy and a bit scary, the nature scenery is still beautiful. This personal perspective, makes me think of how the way the young boy perceived nature as, to many, being alone between nature wasn’t the ideal place to be at, but to him it was home. The solitude that we see in the painting, in my opinion represents the freedom that the boy wanted, he wanted to fly alone as that’s why I think he loved the birds because at some point of their lives they were going to fly away and find their own path. As we look closely into the painting we are able to see the how on the lake there seem to be two subjects, on the right it seemed to be a boy/man and on the left we are unable to find its identity. The way I relate this to poem is that, when the boy decided to go in the voyage alone on see, I picture him like this, except that the unknown subject on the left is nature, his only companion going away in search of his desires and happiness represented by the light the we see in the paining. In conclusion, the poem seems to depict a romantic idea as it talks about nature and the connection the boy had with it, but the painting seems to depict a “dark romanticism” ideal as it shows a gloomy, and terrorizing perspective of being alone in the middle of nowhere within nature.

Hermelinda Ralac

It’s Romantic Poetry

Although the poem by Coleridge was presented in an extremely opposite side, I don’t think that the idea of the romantic poetry changes. The only thing that I saw that changed was how it was presented to the audience. In the original version, there is a lot of more usage of figurative language as for the Iron Maiden’s heavy metal version it is more “catchy”, vibrant, fast pace and emotional. However by the differences it doesn’t changes the message nor the purpose of the poem. The way I think about it is that romantic poetry has evolved for a better acceptance today. While reading the poem there were parts that got me confused or questioning what was I reading and what was I trying to get out of it. After I listened to the song, it made more sense. Living in the most “up to date” society makes it harder for us to understand, but after hearing the poem in a whole different way, with a different mood, rhythm really makes a difference, but not the type of difference that kicks it out of the romantic poetry section. Furthermore we are able to understand the similar messages in both version on the ways we see life, treat nature and believe in God. Overall, as the messages go through both version, we can conclude the literature of power has hit the audience, as it conveys reflections upon ourselves.

  • Hermelinda Ralac

Equiano- I am not alone

Throughout The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Equiano portraits his horrific, inhumane, and painful story throughout slavery. Though he exceeds on the details of the grotesque and heartbreaking abuse towards the slaves, the usage of citations from great literature pieces allows his purpose of wanting to create sympathy within society and abolish slavery to be supported. However these cited works do not only give him more credibility or support, but it also allows him to be seen as an intellectual.

One literary work that Equiano emphasizes on is Paradise Lost by Milton:

“No peace is given

To us enslav’d, but custody severe;

And stripes and arbitrary punishment

Inflicted—What peace can we return?

But to our power, hostility and hate;

Untam’d reluctance, and revenge, though slow,

Yet ever plotting how the conqueror least

May reap his conquest, and may least rejoice

In doing what we most in suffering feel.” (52, online version)

Before mentioning this, Equiano was describing how miserable and oppressed slaves were and how they had no hope other than suffering for the rest of their lives. The fact that he cites this from Milton, he is wanting to prove that he isn’t the only one that identifies slavery as repulsive, inhumane, and hostile in which is created in order to have superiority within certain beings. Other than proving his credibility, by using Milton, Equiano is increasing the probability for literature of power to occur within his audience. Equiano also refers to the bible and God a lot within his narrative, by doing so, he is able to get attention from the religious part of his audience and just like how Apess was able to do, make people question what religion truly is and if it justifies what is happening to these slaves where they are not accepted, are being punished and worse of all being force to convert into this “holy” religion. Overall, I believe that by using all the cited works Equiano is going after the white/European society and letting them know that 1) he isn’t alone when it comes to the desire of the abolition of slavery 2) he is educated just like them 3) that he is determined to abolish slavery and 4) that they are the barbaric disgusting creatures, civilizing himself and slaves.

  • Hermelinda Ralac

Bullies: The reflection of society?

Although the poem itself was awfully difficult to read, I would say that image #2 does its best to represent what Pope was conveying in his poem. As we read through the notes and his biography we learned that Pope was definitely not “fitting” in society (whether it was his physical aspect or his way of writing.

Pope said in his poem:

“Beneath her foot-stool, Science 10  groans in Chains,
And Wit dreads Exile, Penalties and Pains.
There foam’d rebellious Logic, gagg’d and bound,
There, stript, fair Rhet’ric languish’d on the ground;
His blunted Arms by Sophistry 11  are born, [25]
And shameless Billingsgate 12  her Robes adorn.
Morality, by her false Guardians drawn,
Chicane in Furs, and Casuistry in Lawn, 13 
Gasps, as they straiten at each end the cord,
And dies, when Dulness gives her Page the word. 14  [30]”

This is well connected to the picture because as people were making fun or attacking him through these images, he was getting back at them by criticizing the society they are coming from. This is being understood when he saids “Beneath her foot-stool, Science 10  groans in Chains,And Wit dreads Exile, Penalties and Pains. There foam’d rebellious Logic, gagg’d and bound” he is throwing some type of shade were even though one is surrounded by all these logical ideologies, one decides to harass someone because of their “defects”. In a sense I get a “looking glass” perspective (Apess) in Pope’s writing as he tries to tell his bullies that before coming up with these images and degrading him not because of his constructive criticism, but towards his physical appearance they should reflect and re-analyze themselves.

A Hit to Rowlandson

In part 1 chapter 4 (online version, I know I didn’t listened to you J) when it starts with “But I shall not anticipate the reader with further descriptions of this kind, because…” The way he starts the paragraph feels like he is telling us what he is planning to do with the information gathered. When he does we are completely thinking of Mary Rowlandson’s captivity as he mentions that the description of the empire and people will be revealed through the press. As we mentioned in class we got to see Rowlandson perspective towards the Native American that captured her and how she resided with them. However, Swift mocks this part of her captivity because even though she mentions some sort of “good” aspects and certain details about the Native American characteristics and culture of some sort we don’t get enough. In this paragraph though Gulliver who is the one talking literally states what he saw, learned and understood of the empire during his nine-month stay, “from its first erection, through a long series of princes; with a particular account of their wars and politics, laws, learning, and religion; their plants and animals; their peculiar manners and customs, with other matters very curious and useful (50 O.V) The irony that we see in this passage is that meanwhile, Rowlandson talked about her stay with the Natives only as a captivity, in this paragraph we see that Gulliver does not mentions it as such thing. In fact, he says it in a way that makes it seems as if it is his choice to “residence” there. I feel like the way he talks (pacifically) in a way is stating that a captivity couldn’t have been as bad and that Rowlandson did not really tell us the truth.  

  • Hermelinda Ralac

Reconsidering Religion


After reading your post regarding your “hell” like captivity among Indians, the suffering you felt while forced to be separated from your family and seeing one of your children die; from the bottom of my heart, I give you my condolences. No one deserves to feel nor see any of that. Though as I read your point of view on what happened and your experience among them, I want to know what you truly experienced. Among the time that you spent with them, are you really not going to tell us that the Indians are like everybody else? They are humans, they breathe, they eat, they love, they protect, and they fight back from injustices. I know you mentioned some that helped you and comfort you to a certain extent, but then you back off and make it seem that they are uncivilized but barbarians just like everybody says in the white community. It seems that you want to output a hidden message in your post, however you make it difficult for those who are uneducated, why don’t you just say it? I understand this might be tough for you, but just like Jesus Christ, why not sacrifice thyself on telling the truth about a group that has been oppressed for centuries and that deserve to be equal among the whites and every race. Now that religion was brought up, I understand you connect your captivity as being part of God’s test and judgment among believers, I started to wonder if you and the others really know this God of yours. As I had mentioned in my essay Jesus Christ was a Jew, and his apostles were not white (4) what gives you the right to curse us with inferiority under the color of your skin and religion? Isn’t God’s teaching is to “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” In conclusion, I will like for you to reanalyze religion and what you believe it is, a weapon or a connector to humanity?

William Appes  (Written by @Hermelinda_Ralac)

Imperialistic Technique

The play “The Indian Emperor” by John Dryden uses the conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards history in order to promote an imperialistic propaganda towards England. It is interesting to see how Dryden was able to create two sides of imperialism by alternating the colonization history: 1) that imperialism is bad and evil, by showing how many of the conquistadors behaved towards the native Americans and how they tortured Montezuma in order to convert him into Christianity and 2) imperialism is something they should consider if they decide to stay united. This second point can be seen through how Dryden decided to perceive Cortés, like discussed in class by making Cortés sympathetic (by believing in love and unison) towards the Native Americans and by making him fall in love with Cydaria, he created an idea of stating that imperialism is good as long as they do not do it like the Spaniards did.

In the other hand when it comes to the relationship between Cortés and Cydaria, I think that Dryden did not end the play with matrimony because there was no need to. As someone had mentioned, he probably just created this love relationship in order to get the audience to “accept” the conquest. At the same time, I feel that Dryden did not end the play in the way we expected it just because the relationship could have been representing the power that an imperialist have over something/someone inferior. For example, as he loved Cydaria but preferred Charles V, we can perhaps perceive this, like the idea that someone can get over or rid of anything that is no longer needed. This situation cannot only be seen within the inferiority of the Native Americans but also within the women herself as she can be thrown away and be dehumanized by man.