Borderlands is a semi-autobiographical account that contains a mixture of prose and poetry. El otro Mexico que aca hemos construido, el espacio es lo que ha sido territorio nacional. Este el efuerzo de todos nuestros hermanos y latinoamericanos que han sabido progressar. The other Mexico that we have constructed, the space is what has become national territory. This is the work of all our brothers and Latin Americans who have known how to progress.
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This longer poem, which is written mostly in English, with Spanish lines used strategically throughout, offers a historical, yet not entirely nor universally accessible, account while the affective properties open the borders, at times, allowing the reader to pass through unscathed.
A border is a dividing line, a narrow strip along a steep edge. A borderland is a vague and undetermined place created by the emotional residue of an unnatural boundary. It is in a constant state of transition. This image, while continuing the maritime motif offers a more violent relationship between the sea and the border, which is symbolized through the materialization of the border fence.
Not only does she underscore the nearly two thousand mile physical and geographical boundary, she problematizes the notion that the fence only divides land by emphasizing how it has divided a pueblo and a culture. Analyzing the linguistic nature of the stanza, we find that she has expressed her artistic license by using abbreviations and regionalisms in order to fully express her authorial role, bridging the past and present from either side of the fence, which she explicitly reaffirms in the last line.
She is a Mexican woman from this side. Returning to the opening imagery, this concluding stanza, in my opinion, represents a violent clash between the text and a non-Spanish speaking reader. As you pointed out, the coporality that can be identified throughout the text and in the quotations you selected can be related to the materiality of both her body and her politics of location. In order to create this, she has to use her own tools and her own language, not English, not Spanish, but a combination of both, for a new consciousness requires a new language.
La frontera, that space in-between the two languages, allows her to write, to create and ultimately to transform her reality. This time, though, I experienced the text completely differently, at least viscerally. Perhaps the end feeling—the unrest—was not much different, though. You must be logged in to post a comment. Que la Virgen de Guadalupe me cuide Ay ay ay, soy mexicana de este lado. Log in to Reply. Leave a Reply Cancel reply You must be logged in to post a comment.
Gloria Anzaldúa, “The Homeland, Aztlán”