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1. How would you characterize the author's politics?
2. How might you respond to the work's "call to action?"
How I Got That Name
By Marilyn Chin

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What a line!
Posted by: Deborah (
Date: September 11, 2003 12:20PM

It is really hard to pick just one line because this entire poem is just great. One line that I think is brilliant is "bought a chain of chopsuey joints in Piss River, Oregon, with bootlegged Gucci cash." The rhythm, the imagery, the alliteration... everything gives me an image of how pained Ms. Chin is by how Chinese Americans assimilated. I keep reading the poem over and over to get a better sense of whether she is angry or sad or both. I haven't quite decided. Her writing is so raw that I think it's easy to jump to conclusions about how we think she's feeling -- but perhaps some of the techniques she uses are masking other feelings.

Re: What a line!
Posted by: Jennifer (
Date: October 12, 2003 11:09AM

I agree--while the word choice would indicate she is not pleased, it is hard to tell how she really does feel here. She goes on to say that he will be measured by his children, so she seems to say that she is aware the outside world would judge him harshly if just looking at his actions, and the outside world judges her satisfactory based on her actions.

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