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Poetry Analysis Of “Common Grounds”

It seemed somewhat difficult to read through a poem and try to “get” how a poem got a tone from its diction and imagery. It sounded easy to think about, but the hard part got to be articulating how it worked and what made me actually feel a certain way over a poem. For that battle, I read “Common Ground” by Judith Ortiz Cofer.
At first, I read the title and thought it’d be something for pro-equality and how people are essentially created equal. By the second stanza, with the line, “when I look in the mirror I see my grandmother’s stern lips,” it was clear that it wasn’t a poem about being created equal, but about how people do share that “common ground” with people they may not have wanted to grow up like. The title “Common Ground” clearly indicates that there is a common bond between people. The deeper meaning would be that people are all connected by their blood and their family ties, and the purpose of this poem is to express that for the reader. There’s a saying that we all end up like our parents, and that it’s unavoidable, and I think this poem goes along with that saying.
The first stanza gives out a general idea that all of our blood keeps us pumping; it’s the reason why we live and why we have a story to tell or parents to grow up after. We all have bones that “speak in the language of death” because we are all eventually going to decay. All of our flesh “thins with age” and becomes wrinkled. Then Cofer does something strange and mentions, “through your pores rises the stuff of your origin.” Our origins are what’s inside of us, and eventually it is all going to come back out, and it’s going to be the same with everybody. The second stanza narrows down the author’s meaning to her own experiences. She now has her grandmother’s mouth, that speaks “of pain and deprivation” that she has never herself known. While both stanzas have a calmer and more serious tone, I think the second one is what really makes the reader think and creates a darker atmosphere,…

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