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  • Alexa Naparstek

Honor and Confrontation

"Portrait with House” by Marin Hart is a short eleven-line poem that packs heavy emotion throughout each description. I am fascinated by the use of hanging indentation, how it switches the perspective in a noninvasive manner. The poem opens with a strong line, using the verb “invade” to describe the events. Already, readers get a sense of what type of actions we’re going to read. The entire poem, though it is short, reminds me of a distant relative or friend who I still haven’t come to terms with for their actions, and now I have to face them. I must confront them like the speaker. Each line either utilizes figurative language or direct imagery, neither of which fall short. The poem itself is its own metaphor, liking the house to a creation or idea that the “she” has ruined. I find this to be intriguing, often larger metaphors are drawn out, require more time to be understood, but this poem doesn’t need elaboration because of the language given. The speaker of the piece is certain of their own actions and what the “she” is doing.

I felt connected to this piece due to the sense of familiarity it brought. Though I am not in situation per say, I can imagine or recall a time where the events described feel like or mimic a moment in my life. The sense of individuality and universality with this piece is well calibrated, and I encourage readers to use this poem as a prompt, to use something mundane and compare it to a larger, more emotional topic.

Mexican from the Corazón by Britney Garibay is a beautiful visual piece that I personally feel connected to through the emotional ideas being conveyed. Though I am not Mexican, I know the feeling of pride of where one comes from. It is love for the motherland, their background, their culture. I am in love with the depiction of the flag in front of the girl, showing absolute pride and no shame for their background. I think it’s important for viewers, no matter where they come from, understand another’s love or honor they feel from their native/homeland as depicted in the piece. For me, as I grow and learn what being an immigrant means, I find myself more and more connected to depictions of honor. The visual is beautiful with its wide perspective and vulnerability shown in the close-up of the subject. I’m glad we decided to make this piece have its own two-page spread as it adds to the piece’s larger emotional purpose. Garibay’s depiction of pride, specifically pride of one country/people that have been victims of extreme prejudice, is stunning and defies whatever words or ideas are thrown at her. There’s a sense of gravity and longevity that is exuded by the subject and what is in focus: nothing but the girl and her flag.  I encourage viewers to look at this piece and ask themselves: what in this can I learn from? What part of me am I proud of? Mexican from the Corazón is an engaging piece that illustrates youth and their pride.

- Alexa Naparstek, Senior Poetry Editor


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