Poem Explication: Puerto Rican Obituary

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Most of people in New York are immigrants. We came in this country for either better education or job opportunities. In other words we came here to acquire a better life. However, making money isnt that easy. People need to have better education in order to secure better jobs. Those with either no education at all or low level education end up working seven days a week and get poorly paid at the end of it all. One group of those people experiencing harsh life in New York is the Puerto Ricans. They work a lot without having any day off and still get paid really low. In Pedro Pietris poem Puerto Rican Obituary, he talks about the stuff that happens to Puerto Ricans. He talks about how the Puerto Ricans worked and nobody cared about them. Using sad words and sometimes funny, Pedro poem describes how Puerto Ricans day to day life from a first person perspective.

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The poem is in both long and short stanzas. Every stanza has a kind of different topic. The speaker who is Pedro Pietri specifically focuses on Puerto Ricans. The first stanza talks about how they worked. The poet explains that they worked really hard. They were never late to work and never took days off. They never talked back to their boss. They never did anything illegal. They worked for full week and only got paid for like five days. This is how their lives went on. At the end, they just died trying to make money. They died without knowing of any banks because they never had enough money to put in the bank. Nobody helped the Puerto Ricans, they just died and nobody cares. The first stanza of the poem makes the reader feel so sad about the kind of life lived by the Puerto Ricans.

The Fifth stanza is also sad but funny at the same time. The names that poets used arent for his friends or family, they are imaginary names picked at random. The poet shows in stanza five that these people played lottery in a quite peculiar way. For instance, if they won, they could have some days off work and have some rest. They waited their welfare check to come so as to give them some money to buy something or pay their rent. They too worked hard so that when their children grew up, they could work and the parents could quit working. The funniest one is when the poet says Manuel died waiting for his supervisor to drop dead so he could get a promotion. It is funny because if their supervisor didnt die there was no way Manuel could get promotion for people dont really like him. For me it is still going on. Nothing has changed. We still find people like them a lot. Its sad that we still find people working that hard these days and they dont appreciated.

In stanza 10, the poem starts to induce more sadness in the poem. The poet in stanza 10 shows t how he worked hard hoping that someday he could own a car. The Puerto Ricans wanted to have games. They wanted to go back to their country to visit. They wanted to own something which they could call their property. However, these forever remained dreams for them. Once they were here, they were stuck and had nothing to do except work and work.

In conclusion we can see that Puerto Ricans always work hard. This poem proves that no matter how much work the Puerto Ricans did they never got appreciated by anyone. However, when they came here in America, they worked harder than the people who lived in America. Most of the people still believe that immigrants come here to take over their jobs. One thing that most people dont know is that immigrants take only such jobs that they are perfect in.

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