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Leonard Adame Poem Analysis

D. Grandmother's Condition

E. Intellectual Nourishment

In Leonard Adame's poem "My Grandmother Would Rock Quietly and Hum," the speaker experiences both a reconnection and a loss as now mature he remembers memories of his grandmother. He reconnects with his heritage and youth, but he also recognizes a loss has occurred because he has become acculturated to mainstream society and has become distanced from his Latino origins. "My Grandmother" is actually a tribute poem in which the mature speaker can now reflect on the joyous memories of spending morning in his grandmother's house, despite the poverty-ridden environment. Adame uses a variety of poetics, from irony and sound to characterization and personification to pay tribute to his grandmother in this poem. In doing so, he recognizes that he has succeeded in mainstream society because of her sacrifices and the sacrifices of her father, who failed to achieve his dream, but he also recognizes that in his own achievement his heritage and those sacrifices are fading and in jeopardy of being forgotten.

In "My Grandmother Would Rock Quietly and Hum," Adame makes the poem work on different levels. On one level it is the speaker's mature reminiscence about the good times he remembers spending with his grandmother as a boy. On another level it is his mature recognition that these distinctly cultural ties are fading and in jeopardy of being lost forever. The sacrifices that his grandmother and her father made for him have allowed him to succeed in mainstream society, but in doing so he has lost a vital connection to his heritage and Mexican culture. Adame (463) uses symbolism at the end of the poem to make this point clear, "Mexico / still hangs in her / fading / calendar pictures."

Adame uses a number of poetic devices at the beginning of the poem to characterize his grandmother and her environment. We see she is a hardworking ...

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