Why Cervantes?

Lorna Dee Cervantes is an exemplary woman of poise, honesty, and courage who has served, and continues to serve, as a role model to the Chicano Movement. In these two poems in particular, she attempting to address racism firsthand and come to terms with the crisis in identity that she herself, and others like her, face on a daily basis, all through the lens of a woman. By recreating the world Cervantes herself grew up in in many of her poems, she is coping with her own family history while simultaneously facilitating the struggles of other Chicanos and minorities around the world. As John Addiego, critic from the Northwest Review, put it: “…there is a sense that an enormous but generally neglected audience is being addressed. The Chicana experience, the long-suppressed voices…is formed into a volume of linguistically rich outcries” (John Addiego). Displayed in many of her other poems not discussed in this essay, Cervantes is a feminist who uses her writing to explore gender roles and make commentary on the stereotypes and inequalities for a Chicana woman. Her poems display themes of mourning, acceptance, and renewal and encourage those who are undergoing similar setbacks to behave in the same manner. She is a woman who loves doing what she does and uses poetry to make a statement on society and all its flaws. In the words of Lorna Dee Cervantes herself, “Poetry is not a discipline. Poetry is an obsession” (Lorna Dee Cervantes Opens Her Pencil into Pixels- Poetry, Peace, Y Xicanisma).