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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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Lines that jump out
Posted by: ehbeagle (
Date: January 11, 2005 12:09PM

"For we all know lust drove men to greatness
not goodness, not decency"

This line shocked me. I guess becuase I have a good relationship with my father. I do not see him driven by lust as this poet seems to view her father.

Re: Lines that jump out
Posted by: Rosa Lee (
Date: January 18, 2005 05:56PM

"How we managed to fool the experts in education, statistics and demography--we are not very creative but not adverse to rote learning." Not my experience with Chinese students nor does it seem that she believes what she is saying.

Are you taking this workshop now? I am unsure of what I am supposed to do. Any

Re: Lines that jump out
Posted by: Lynn Burke (204.57.47.---)
Date: April 25, 2005 02:12PM

Taking that line a bit further:

for we all know
lust drove men to greatness,
not goodness, not decency.
And there I was, a wayward pink baby,
named after some tragic white woman

It reminds me of William Carlos Williams's poem "To Elsie" -- specifically, the lines:

promiscuity between

devil-may-care men who have taken
to railroading
out of sheer lust of adventure--

and young slatterns

- maybe Chin is talking about that same sort of hopelessness of people leaving their culture and tradition behind -- or maybe I'm reading too much into the word "lust" ... thoughts?

Re: Lines that jump out
Posted by: MelissafMayer (
Date: May 31, 2012 11:40PM

The line that really jumped out at me in the end was "...survived by everybody, forgotten by all." It's just a sad and empty feeling that I get thinking about how she really has no identity that she can cling to, thus making her completely forgettable. I think this is how a lot of teenagers feel because they're struggling so much with identity.

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