Speaking in Tongues: The Third World Women Writer
Reading “Speaking in Tongues: The Third World Women Writer” by Gloria Anzaldua, I found this section of the book to be extremely eye opening and inspiring because it taught me to look at poetry in a whole new light. In fact, it inspired me to get more in touch with my inner self and express my thoughts, life, and experiences through writing poetry. Something I found especially interesting was that Gloria Anzaldua remarks that “A poem works for me not when it says what I want to say and not when it evokes what I want it to. It works when the subject I started out with metamorphoses alchemically into a different one, one that has only been discovered, or uncovered by the poem. It works when it surprises me, when it says something I have repressed or pretended not to know. The meaning and worth of my writing is measured by how much I put myself on the line and how much nakedness I achieve.” I completely admire this and look up to this, because it is something I would never be able to do. My walls are too high to ever allow myself to be vulnerable by expressing my feelings through a poem (publically, that is). This section extremely challenges the reader because it forces them to look within themselves. Have I ever swallowed my native tongue because what I had to say was “too much”? Have I ever allowed my words to be suppressed because I was afraid of the backlash I would receive? Have I ever been afraid of being noticed because of where I come from? Because of these questions, I found myself pondering subconsciously, I can see the significance of this section to the book. I feel this section has gained critical traction and attention as well as challenge gender theory and feminist thought because of its use of provocative language (in a good way), one-on-one conversation (letter style) with the reader, and controversial yet confident and strong criticism of our political system, social issues, and ongoing racism.
Although all five readings in this section are absolutely phenomenal, page turners, and eye openers, my absolute favorite had to be “A letter to Third World Women Writers” by Gloria Anzaldua. I loved this section because it empowers women, especially women facing intersectionality to say what they need to say despite who they are, where they come from, or what they are stereotyped to be. She calls out white feminism multiple times and incorporates other poets and authors to add creativity to her piece. Aside from personalizing her relationship with the
reader by referring to us as her “hermana’s”, she personifies her relationship with her pen. Using multiple examples of different occasions of when her pen has brought out the best in her, helped her write, and expand her mind. This piece also reminds me of my mother, because she was a literature teacher and a poet and always told me to vent to my journal if she is ever not around or if my words refuse to come out of my mouth, just like the reading, my mother reminds me to keep in touch with my middle eastern native tongue and to not be ashamed or feel unqualified enough to hold back whatever I have to say.