Hispanic Heritage Month Poetry

For Hispanic Heritage Month, Scholars from North Chicago Community High School (NCCHS) wrote poems inspired by Latino/a role models. Ebenezer Figueroa '20 wrote a poem about Sandra Cisneros, a Chicago-born Mexican-American author best known for her novel The House on Mango Street. Cheytonn Orsby '19 wrote two poems about feminism and gender roles inspired by Carmen Boullosa, a Mexican poet, novelist, and playwright.  

   Carmen Boullosa                                                              Sandra Cisneros 

Sandra Cisneros
By Ebenezer Figueroa '20

Sandra Cisneros
Comes with a bow and arrow.
She teaches you a lesson
So you will be blessed in.
She teaches us to be free
To open our eyes to see.
She teaches a community
To stand in immunity
To fight against the trace
That people see in race.
She teaches a nation
To stay in congregation.
She does this through literature.
And says these things so mature.
She addresses problems
So people won't stay at the bottom.
She writes about becoming of age.
So people will have advice and not burst into rage.
Sandra Cisneros is
Preparing us for the real biz.
Writing stories to teach us
Racism will never reach us.

Poem 1 (Inspired by Carmen Boullosa)
By Cheytonn Orsby '19

Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Dominicans,
Salvadorans, Guatemalans, Colombians,
Hondurans, Ecuadorians, and Peruvians
make up the Hispanic groups
It’s Hispanic history month and I wanted this poem to go through some fun loops

“Latino is an ethnicity not a race”
It’s not all about the skin color and characteristics of one’s face
But about the shared language, heritage, religion, and culture
There’s so many important meanings just like there is in any sculpture

The Hispanic culture has developed a gender expectation
Latin American women still face wage discrimination

The ideal characteristics of Hispanic men are called machismo
The ideal characteristics of Hispanic women are called marianismo

Women’s primary role is to be loving and caring mothers
Which is different from the role of men; different from the role of others

Men have a role to provide for the family and work hard
Women like to show a lot of regard

Men are to be fearless and strong
If they can’t maintain these characteristics they would be considered as acting wrong

Women are to be responsible and self-sacrificing
The “perfect women” are seen for their physical appearances which help do most advertising

Women make seventy-seven cents while men earn a dollar
Some people think it’s fair, they shrug it off, they may pop their collar

Men are to be dominant
Women are to be submissive
Men are more prominent
Women are just assistive

Women have the central role of maintaining family life and tradition
Parenting and educating children, it’s sure they get some recognition

Men have the central role of economic protection
Working hard and saving money for collection

The Latino community developed gender roles that should be played out with perfection
Feminism v.s. Male chauvinism

Poem 2  (Inspired by Carmen Boullosa)
By Cheytonn Orsby '19

A “feminist”
is a person who believes in social, political, and economic equality of the sexes
They want equality
Not to be judged by their sexuality

A male chauvinist
believes “that they are superior in terms of ability and or intelligence”
They’re free to believe it, but there’s no actual evidence

Even though we’re all different from each other
No gender is better than another

Most of the times,
Many women can do anything men can do
And many men can do the same as women too

Women can get paid the same amount of money as men for doing the same work
but in the way are people who support the gender pay gap
And every single one of them is considered a jerk

Men can be free and express themselves in any way
But in between are people who will bring them down with the term “that’s gay”

Women can be recognized for their intelligence and ability to pick up, read, and or write a book
but in the way are people who only care about the way that they look

Men can cry without being ashamed considering we all have feelings
But in the way are people who are ready to let them know that isn’t appealing
Or that there are ‘better’ ways of sentimental healing
There’s some gender hidden equalities the world is dealing

Children can grow up without having to feel that there are certain things they can’t do or be
But gender inequality may be in the way of what it actually means to be free


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