Ballads

Pronounication: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6L375lbinM

The Struggle Against Two Races: http://civilrightsteaching.org/resource/nicolas-guillen-the-struggle-against-two-racisms/

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Related image The poem describes two grandfathers, separated by race, coming together in their mixed or mulatto grandson. Clearly, each man has had a distinctly different life. Notice the verbs associated with men. Compare what they say. Different lives have different parameters.

What is not mentioned is the “begetting” of the grandson and the probable rape of his mother, a slave. The parental generation is not mentioned. Instead, the focus is a removal of time of sorts – on the patriarchs of their respective clans.

The narrator, the poet, is symbol. He represents the uncalculatable numbers of people of mixed “blood.” He works toward resolution of being of European and African family lines. These two join in him. With all of that comes history that must be acknowledged. DNA does not lie. At least not so far.

Consider the relevancy of using the term ballad as part of the title. This is used to signify the repeated frequency of such births. Ballads are distinguished by their repetitive lines.

Please note that there is only one race- the human race. It is man’s frailty that divides one and other by skin color or physical shape.

Please access the poem that is located in this block.

Guillén was a close friend of Langston Hughes, a poet of extraordinary contribution. He was an active force in the Harlem Renaissance. Please take a few moments to review the material associated there.

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