Rhina Polonia Espaillat

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Two writers, living many years and thousands of miles apart. One, a Hispanic woman, and the other, an Irish man. They spoke different languages, lived in different cultures, and had different experiences. Both living such interesting lives and writing such amazing material. These two people may seem to be as different as it gets, but, in reality, how different are they really? Today I will explore the differences and similarities of the esteemed playwright Bernard Shaw and the quietly distinguished poet Rhina Espaillat. I will use an analytically observatory method referred to as an Historical or Biographical Perspective. This method or ‘lens’ is a means by which to use context clues from a writer’s text and background biographical information…show more content…
Born in the year 1932 to a diplomat father under a dictatorship, she faced much hardship in the early stages of her life. Under such political distress, she and her family were exiled to the United States, where they settled in New York City in 1939. Soon after, Espaillat’s father fell from grace and was forced to find work elsewhere. This shifted Espaillat’s once-comfortable lifestyle into that of a lower to middle class immigrant. As a young girl, Espaillat became engrossed in her writing and turned to poetry as an outlet. As a self-professed lover of words, Espaillat wrote her poetry in both English and her native language, Spanish. Her family was deeply proud of their Hispanic culture and heritage, never regarding it as lesser than the culture that now surrounded them in the United States. However, Espaillat did excel in learning and loving the nuances of the English language. She became well known in Manhattan as a poet and even achieved a kind of stardom, but this was short lived. It wasn’t until later in life, after attending college, being married, creating a family, becoming a school teacher, and nearly forty years of poetic dormancy, that Espaillat returned to her writings. She published eleven highly awarded and acclaimed collections of poetry in these later years of her life. She was a three time winner of the Poetry Society of America prize and a 2008 recipient of the…show more content…
As there is an abundance of material written between these two authors, I will be restricting my examination of texts to Bernard Shaw’s best-known play Pygmalion and Rhina Espaillat’s poem entitled Bilingual. It is truly astonishing the amount of information one can find hidden deep within the meaning of a perfectly crafted work of literature if one only knows where to look. Given the general background of each of these two authors, this author will use the Historical or Biographical Perspective to outline and examine some of the differences and similarities between these two
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