Final Exam Review Sheet
Exam Day is Friday, March 25
For this exam you will interpret poems in terms of themes developed during this class. During this class we have spent a significant amount of time discussing, thinking about and acting on the following themes:
- Silence and speaking out.
- Visibility and invisibility, reality and stereotypes.
- Valuing the cultures and experiences of Asian peoples both past and present.
- Struggling for a better life for ourselves, our families and our communities.
During this exam you will develop a framework for analyzing four out of the following five poems:
- Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai, "Making Guacamole" (reader pages 3-5)
- Janice Mirikitani, "Breaking Silence" (reader pages 55-57)
- Jeff Tagami, "Without Names" (reader pages 81-2)
- le thi diem thuy, "in praise of my ba, #1 vietnamese buddhist gangster" (reader pages 191-2)
- Ishle Park, "Sa-I-Gu" (copied below; a recording of Park reciting the poem is here)
To review for the exam you should read each of the poems and you should be able to answer the following questions:
- When was the poem written?
- Where and in what medium was the poem published?
- What group or groups of people does the poem represent? What does the poem say about one or more significant experiences for the people it represents?
- What is one detail from the poem that really brings to life the historical experience of the people it represents?
- How does the poem connect to the themes from the class listed above?
Answers to these questions should provide you with a framework for future research. Remember differences along lines of socioeconomic class, gender, sexuality and mixed heritages.
Like the mid-term the final exam will be open book, open note, open class and open Google. The exam should take you no more than one hour to complete.
By Ishle Yi Park
koreans mark disaster
April 29, 1992.
fire. if I touch
the screen my fingers
will singe or sing.
we watch grainy reels of a black
man flopping on concrete
arched, kicked, and nightsticked,
here I rub my own tender
wrists, ask my mother unanswerable questions -
why are the cops doing this?
my mother will answer simply, and
wisely, because those cops are bad.
of the looters, because they are mad.
But why hurt us - she chokes
Because, Ishle, we live close enough.
While l.a.p.d. ring beverly hills like a moat,
They won't answer rings from south central
furious and consistent as rain.
where did they hide, our women -
under what oil-stained=
chevy did they breathe life?
who pulled them
by hair into riot
for a crime
they did not commit -
who watched and did nothing?
the mile high cameras hover,
they zoom in, dub it:
war of blacks & koreans
then watch us rip
each other to red tendons for scraps
in the city that they abandoned,
a silence white as white silence
and we have no jesse
no martin no malcolm
no al, no eloquent, rapid tongue
just fathers, with thick-tongues
and children, too young to carry more
than straw broomstick and hefty bag.
all the women cry
and they hurl what is not already shattered.
but two mornings later, 1
they march over ashes
dust licking their proud ankles
sing in a language that
most will never master
a tribute song
to those who came before
and those who will march after
we shall overcome
Copied from culture critique, Cultural Studies Departement: School of the Humanities, Claremont Graduate University. March 20, 2011.
1See the account by Paul Kim about the peace march following the LA uprising, reader page 176.