Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Family Legend

My Reading on the Poem “Family Legend” by Anna Margarita Reyes


"Family Legend" is a tragic narrative poem that is full of vivid cinematic scenes that appeal to the imagination and to the heart. The scenes in each stanza successfully gave me an overview of what kind of man and woman the personas are in this poetry.

The line "Where its mother had searched In vain for her rosary," let me perceive that the woman is pious and submissive. She is a lady who depends all the  answers to God without doing something to change her merciful situation. While the second stanza and the line "He summoned the woman and drew his gun" make me create a character of a man who tends to dominate a woman or other people but is having a conflict of overcoming his own fears and disappointments.

Connecting the events in those stanzas led me to a possible blockbuster about a couple who used to live a simple and quiet life near the sea. But suddenly, their lives were shattered when their child died. The man can't bear the loss and resort to committing suicide after killing his wife.

But all of these are just a product of a very active imagination or we might say an over-reading on my part. Thus, in order for the poet to tighten and sharpen her poetry she may consider to answer the following questions:

1. What kind of "loss" is the loss presented in the first line of the poem? Is this a physical loss wherein the child was separated from the parents through distance? Or, is this is a psychological and emotional lost wherein the child can't determine what to do in his present situation?

2. Why does the possessive pronoun "its” refers to the child instead of the pronoun "his" and "her"?
Is this an indication of a miscarriage/ abortion that's why the mother didn't have the chance to determine the sex of the child?

3. Is the father in the second stanza related to the mother and child in the first stanza? Is it possible that the poet finds a way to show the relationship between the characters in her poetry?

4. What is the great need of the father to flee?

5. Does the poet just really want to say that the father wants to have time to contemplate since he is very keen on observing the crabs who are in the process of shedding their shells?

6. Does the poet agree that a poem must be literally true before it can be figuratively true?

7. If yes, may she consider to take more than a second look on this line "Tiny semi-aquatic fetuses"?

In the poet's quest of answering the above questions, I just want to leave her a nice quote that I think is related to her poem; "Sometimes the greatest truths are dressed as imagination."