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Analysis of the poem "Jaguar" by Francisco X. Alarcon

The writer of this poem Francisco Xavier Alarcon is a Chicano poet who was born in the year 1954 February 21. When growing up he was caught up in cultural conflicts where he at times lived with his parents in Los Angeles and at other times he spent time with his other relatives who lived in Mexico.

One of the aspects that influenced him to start writing poems was the interaction with these diverse cultures. While living in Mexico Xavier was really interested in the stories that he was hearing from his grandmother and this was where he started writing his first poems. With the motivation of wanting to develop his writing skills, he moved to Los Angeles where his parents were living by then. At Los Angeles, he graduated from high school with a diploma at Cambria school. He later joined East Los Angeles College and later moved to California State University where he got a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and History. With the drive of wanting to know more about different cultures, he joined Stanford University where he studied Latin-America literature.

At the university, Xavier was able to interact with different poem writings and also he interacted with other individuals interested in the aspect of literature. While still at Stanford he published his first book ‘Tattoos’.

Francisco Xavier has published a number of poetry collections and has used his poems as a tool of empowerment to the community. Moreover, he has also written a number of Spanish poems and also children’s poem. Most of his poems feature short stanzas and they tend to explore the different cultures he has interacted with and also the history of the Mesoamerica. His poems also show that the author has embraced the aspect of cultural diversity and that he appreciates life in general.

Most of his poems for the children have been published in English and Spanish and thus can be described as being bilingual. He received a number of honors and also he was a lecturer in Spanish at the University of California, however, his untimely death occurred in 2016 January 15th. Literary movement can be described as a similar impetus of writing that is common amongst a group of writers at a specific period of time. The term movement is used in the description of this phrase mainly because the literary movement is about authors with common ideas about a particular aspect.

Francisco Xavier uses a number of these literary movements in his poems with the aim of Cleary presenting his ideas to his different readers. The poem Jaguar has been able to utilize a number of literary movements associated with poetry. One of the literary movements in this poem is that of imagist. This can be proved by the fact that the poem has been able to use simple English that the reader can associate with, secondly, the poem can also be said to be of this movement because it treats the main subject directly.

In this case, the poem talks of a lonely jaguar in the woods that is thought to become extinct. From this, the jaguar is the persona in the poem and disagrees with the idea of its extinction. From this, the reader can see that the Jaguar is able to respond to these claims directly. Secondly, imagist movement poems do not use a lot of words, in this poem it is evident that the words used represent simple English, moreover, the words in the poem are not long. It is also clear that the poem has been able to follow the free verse format. This means that the words used mainly target young readers and thus they will not have a hard time trying to figure out what the poem is all about. Furthermore, as an imagist poem, it can help these young readers learn about jaguars, in this case, such animals are rare and this may make the children develop an urge to learn about such animals. Besides, older readers can be able to learn about the importance of protecting endangered species such as the Jaguars. Therefore it is evident that the aspect of imagist can help children develop an interest in learning about animals and this is due to the illustrations used. Additionally, the use of imagist literacy in the poem can also help the readers to learn more about the subject of the poem and thus enriching the knowledge of the reader. Moreover, the use of simple language in the poem can help people who use English as their second language find it easy to identify with this language.

Furthermore, the illustrations used to bring out this literacy movement can be defined as being absolutely beautiful. Every stanza has an eye-catching phrase that helps to depict the main theme of this poem.

Another literary movement associated with this poem is that of language poets. Poems using this type of literary movement required the readers to try and bring out meaning contained in any particular poem. Using this literary movement has helped the readers be part of the poem by placing the reader in a situation where he or she should try and construct meaning from this poem. Through the process of breaking down the language used in this poem, the reader is expected to construct the meaning that exists in the poem. From this poem, it is evident that the message being brought out is that of the need to preserve and protect our animals. From the poem, the reader should be able to learn that the subject of the poem that is the Jaguar is at a risk of extinction. However, this message is not direct since the Jaguar urges that it will not become extinct in the near future since its ancestors live through it. This is a clear indicator that the learner should try and construct meaning from what the persona in this poem is trying to communicate to the target readers.

Lastly, the poem can also be described to have a lot of aspects of the literary movement of modernism. This is mainly because most of the poems that apply the aspect of imagist also tend to have the aspect of modernism in them. To start with, the poem new modes of expression that were previously rejected in the field of poetry. One such aspect is the application of imagist as a means of bringing out different expressions. Moreover, the poem also uses the aspect of symbolism, in this case, the jaguar is used symbolically in order to clearly bring out the fact that of what is happening in the world. It is clear that there are a number of species that are at the edge of being extinct. Therefore the use of the Jaguar was symbolic in order to show that there are other animals who are also at a risk of becoming extinct. Therefore the application of symbolism proves that the poem has aspects of modernism. Additionally, there are a number of multiple themes present in this poem. For instance, the poem is seen to talk about nature, this aspect tries to tell the readers that they should appreciate their environment.

Moreover, the poem also tries to tell the reader the need of preserving nature and at the same time protecting the endangered species. The existence of multiple themes in the poem is an aspect that is common in most of the poems with the literary movement of modernism. Another important factor that brings out the aspect of modernism in this poem includes the fact that the poem does not conform to any established rules and conventions of poetry writing. The writer of the poem has not observed aspects such as rhythm, style, and form. Traditionally, poetry depended on the set rule fully and deviation from the set regulations means that a piece could not be defined as being a poem. From the poem it is evident that the writer has formulated his own rules, modernism includes the writers of the poem formulating their own rules that guide them throughout the writing process.

The poem can be seen to reflect the modern day period. This can be seen by the fact that the message presented in this poem is a reflection of what is happening in the modern day world. The poem’s main theme is that of a Jaguar that differs with the opinion presented by people concerning its existence. From the poem, the Jaguar is seen to respond to claims that its existence is limited and it is about to extinct. However, the Jaguar responds to this claims by firmly stating that the nature surrounding it is a resemblance to its ancestors and thus if nature still exists then its existence also still exists.

The poem tries to tell the reader that they should try to preserve the environment if they want to ensure that the various species of wild animals are not exposed to the threat of extinction. Therefore, it is evident that the time period being described by the poem is the modern day world where environmental conservation has been a very serious issue. Due to human activities, the environment has become degraded and this has posed a threat to the existence of mankind and also to the existence of other organisms in their ecological niche. Therefore, it is vividly clear that the author of this poem was able to pinpoint the problems facing the environment in the twentieth century via this specific poem.

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