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The Milkfish Gatherers Historical Context

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"The Snap Revolution," which appears in a 1986 edition of the journalistic magazine, Granta, chronicles Fenton's time in the Philippines as the Marcos regime fell from power. "The Milkfish Gatherers" was spawned during Fenton's time in the Philippines, but the poem tells a larger story than the fall of one regime. The Marcos regime was an oppressive dictatorship that was the last in a long line of oppressive dictatorships for the small country. "The Milkfish Gatherers" tells, in capsule, the entire history of Filipino revolution, which began as far back as 1872 and continues to this day as the country cleans up its political system and makes way for the highbred, the "insect-shark" of the poem, or the truly free and revolutionized democratic life.

In the 1800s, the Philippines were ruled by Spain, but governed from Mexico. The poem initially places the reader in the Philippines, near Luzon, which is...

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This section contains 583 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Poetry for Students
The Milkfish Gatherers from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.