Student Essay: Julia de Burgos

by multilingualmania on November 1, 2011

in Student Writing Contest

Multilingual Mania Writing ContestOur third entry for our second annual student writing contest for Hispanic Heritage month is from Kaylee Dunnigan, an eighth grade student from New Mexico.

I truly love poetry; I find it one of the most bewitching things that one can come across. One of my favorite poets is Julia de Burgos- her work is just phenomenal, you can feel her emotions and thoughts leak out of her work. Her life and ambitions were astonishing and yet her days ended in a somber way. I do not think that Julia de Burgos had ever written poetry for money, but she wrote it for her own self-joy. You can see she did not have heartless intentions when writing poetry because they were always filled with her deepest contemplations and emotions. You could always feel whether she was writing from perturbation or ecstasy- either way her words were filled with passion.

Her poetry has not only touched my heart and soul, but to no end of others. She has composed over 200 creations. Yet it is not only her poetry that has influenced me, but the story of her life is outstanding. She was born in Puerto Rico, first-born out of thirteen children and had taken to writing at a young age. Then by only the age of 19 she had acquired a university degree. She has been an advocate for the independence of Puerto Rico, and she had been a civil rights activist for women African and African-Caribbean writers in the United States. She lived in both the United States and Puerto Rico multiple times. Julia de Burgos had two marriages, both of which broke into pieces. She suffered from depression leading to her being an alcoholic and sorrowfully died of pneumonia.

Julia de Burgos’ work was always and has always been astounding. My favorites include To Julia de Burgos and Yo misma fui mi ruta. To Julia de Burgos is a poem that she had written “to” herself. To Julia de Burgos was most likely written in her later years as she was going through depression, because you can feel her anger and self-hatred that she harbors and tries to keep at bay. I like this poem so much because she is angry in a matter of fact way, but you can still feel the sadness her words inflict on herself-it seems to bring a sense of piece of mind. Her life has made such an impact on me because her poems bring you these feelings and thought that I have never really experienced in such a way-you could say that it leads you to a new light of day.

My second favorite poem is Yo misma fui mi ruta. This poem is about her trying to be and do what she could. I took this as in her mental state and though not in her physical sense. In the poem she was, at the beginning, going in and out of what she had to be and what she was. She wanted to be “an attempt at life”. Then I take the next part of the poem as her trying her hardest to continue forward as things keep painfully dragging her back. It continues on to say that she is what she is, and she’s where she was, but then she thrives to be “what men wanted her to be”. I am devoted to this poem because she progresses or tries to progress toward her goal, even though it seems hard for her to accomplish such a task.

Poets are writers, and writers express their feelings through their writings. I have read many books and poems of sorts but Julia de Burgos’ work has expressed her emotions the best. By just reading a piece of her work you could understand exactly the feeling she was having and the one that she was trying to convey to her audience. Julia de Burgos was and is still considered one of the best Latina poets of both her time and ours. Even though her life was hard on her she got to express her feelings through her extraordinary work. For these reasons and many more Julia de Burgos will always be the greatest inspiration to me.

Stay tuned for some additional student essays! After we have uploaded all of the articles, our readers will have a chance to choose a first, second and third place winner.

Read additional student essays here.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

La Teacher November 1, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Kaylee is a wonderful student! She is the perfect student! I think she did an amazing job with her essay.

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