The Performance of Becoming Human - Pages 75 - 88 Summary & Analysis

Daniel Borzutzky
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Summary

In “Lake Michigan Merges into the Bay of Valparaiso, Chile,” Borzutsky concretely grounds his poetic repetitions of mutilation in two specific locales: “it is often said on the shores of Lake Michigan, which is the / Bay of Valparaiso, that we will die for reasons we do not / understand” (74). While Chicago has emerged in the book as the center toward which the speaker’s apocalyptic vision gravitates, here Borzutsky adds a further twist by aqueously merging the American city with a Chilean city. Aside from proper nouns, the poem is written entirely in undercase letters, and takes its perspective from the vantage point of a collective oppressed “we”: “we do not understand why we do not understand why we are / paid or beaten or loved” (74). The “I” which designates the speaker’s overdeveloped poetic consciousness is submerged in this poem, which concludes by repeating...

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This section contains 1,089 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Performance of Becoming Human Study Guide
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