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Legal Alien/Extranjera legal by Pat Mora. Feature Menu. Introducing the Poem Literary Focus: Speaker. Legal Alien/Extranjera legal by Pat Mora. Legal Alien/Extranjera legal Introducing the Poem.

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legal alien extranjera legal by pat mora
Legal Alien/Extranjera legalby Pat Mora

Feature Menu

Introducing the Poem

Literary Focus: Speaker

legal alien extranjera legal introducing the poem
Legal Alien/Extranjera legalIntroducing the Poem

Have there been times in your life when you have felt “alien”? What images and feelings come to mind when you hear that word?

legal alien extranjera legal introducing the poem4
Legal Alien/Extranjera legalIntroducing the Poem

“Legal Alien” explores the feelings of discomfort that come with belonging to two different cultures. Although the speaker functions well in both cultures, she doesn’t really feel at home in either.

  • The two different versions of this poem—one in English and one in Spanish—emphasize the speaker’s bilingual background.

[End of Section]

legal alien extranjera legal literary focus speaker
Legal Alien/Extranjera legalLiterary Focus: Speaker

Speaker—voice talking to us in a poem.

  • The speaker is often the poet—but not always.
  • The poet might speak as someone else—a younger or older person, an animal, or even an inanimate object.
  • When the speaker is not the poet, the poet has created a persona, or mask.
legal alien extranjera legal literary focus speaker6

style of speaking

speaker’s tone

Voice

Legal Alien/Extranjera legalLiterary Focus: Speaker

Tone—attitude expressed toward the subject or audience.

  • The speaker’s tone and speaking style combine to create the speaker’s voice.

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legal alien extranjera legal literary focus speaker7
Legal Alien/Extranjera legalLiterary Focus: Speaker

Whenever you read a poem, listen carefully to the voice. You might hear

the somber voice of a grandfather

the excited chatter of a little child

the serene musings of a redwood tree

The speaker’s identity and voice can be important keys to the meaning of a poem.

legal alien extranjera legal literary focus speaker8
Legal Alien/Extranjera legalLiterary Focus: Speaker

As you read “Legal Alien,” ask yourself

  • Who’s talking to me?
  • What is his or her attitude toward the subject?
  • What do the speaker’s identity and voice tell me about the meaning of the poem?

[End of Section]