In this poem, Joseph Bruchac writes about visiting Ellis Island, which was a port of entry for so many immigrants, and feeling mixed emotions about his family history. He rejoices for the Slovak immigrants who found new opportunities in the U.S., but he mourns for the ancestors who were here before the Europeans, the American Indians dispossessed by the new arrivals who seized control of their land. To me, the poem basically means that all the immigrants from Europe wanted to come to America but once there, they only like it halfheartedly. I could be wrong, but that’s what I think it means. You could say that the theme of the poem is American identity in all it multi-ethnic complexity.
In line 18 and 19 Bruchac used a personification, “Yet only one part of my blood loves that memory.” Bruchac wants the readers to he is half Indian too and that makes us realize that he is not only talking about the Europeans but even the Indians or the other native people who once owned the lands. I like how he used his identity and history in the story so that we can realize the people who worked hard for the lands of America where they live now. He feels mixed emotions about his ancestors because they are the one who worked hard in the lands but when Europeans migrated to their lands many of them lost the lands that was once theirs. Joseph Bruchac uses imagery too to make the people imagine the things in the poem. When I read the imagery words in the poem I feel like I’m Joseph Bruchac imagining his life and his ancestors. I like having imagery words in poems; it makes the poem more powerful and meaningful. Imagery is an important tool in poetry. When you hear the term imagery, you might think of visual images. Imagery, however, can and should involve all five senses: sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste. Language that describes things we can see, hear, smell, touch, or taste is known as concrete language. One way Bruchac use imagery words in his poem by using figurative languages, it is a language that says one thing while suggesting another. He used the words Circle line ship, tall woman, island old Empires of Europe and many words that makes his poem powerful when the audience here it.
In line 19, 18, and 20 Bruchac stated that “Another Voice speaks of native lands within this nation.” This line means that Joseph felt bad about the native people who owned the lands and became invaded when Europeans migrated in the native lands. Joseph Bruchac uses literary device to make his poem more meaningful, he used personifications, similes, and imagery. The literary devices helped me a lot to understand the line and the poem and to make me feel better about the poem. In this poem, Joseph Bruchac writes about visiting Ellis Island, which was a port of entry for so many immigrants, and feeling mixed emotions about his family history. He rejoices for the Slovak immigrants who found new opportunities in the U.S., but he mourns for the ancestors who were here before the Europeans, the American Indians dispossessed by the new arrivals who seized control of their land. You could say that the theme of the poem is American identity in all it multi-ethnic complexity. My opinion about Bruchac poem is he did a great job showing his emotions in the poem and showing the love to his ancestors who once owned the lands. He used literary devices like imagery words by using figurative languages. I like how he made the poem interesting by using the history. The author is speaking of his own family coming to America, and the romance of the idea of new settlers coming over from abroad to have the American dream; however in their process of finding a new life in American they are taking away the lands and dreams of the American Indian. All the feelings and emotions he put in his poem about his family history. Half of his body doesn’t mourns about what happened to his ancestors who worked hard for the lands while the Europeans took control of the lands.