This poem is written by Martin Espada that pay tributes to the forty-three members of Local 100 that were killed in 9/11 attack. These workers were working in the North Tower, and they were present in the World Restaurant of the World Trade Centre Building
In the first two stanzas, the poet describes the fast and quick actions of the workers and their dedications for the work. The poet has animated the worker’s action with metamorphic music of eggs and bread by the cook from Fajardo.
The poet has linked the blue eyes of the chef with Spanish and American invasion of Puerto Rico. Martin Espada has also resembled the “oye” inscribed on the shoulder of the chef as a scream that has shared its color with several languages across the Globe. The poet didn’t limit the phrase “oye” with a nation or culture as he thinks it to be widespread.
The poet wishes to distract our attention from the deceptive and tragic attack to a very deep sense of determination and sacrifice of the labors in that attack. Martin Espada desired us to direct our mind’s eye to the fact that it was the workers who suffered in actual in most of the military campaign, business, or agrarian contract. By fusing the multiplicity in workers, the poet is trying to highlight that the main struggle for labor is universal on the whole, and it must be appreciated.
The poem “Alabanza” is divided into seven parts, in which the first six parts are included from the previous section written by Espada. As one of the most famous and renowned Latino poet of its time, Espada has written his emotional response on the 9/11 attack. Especially when he has realized that the attack has killed so many immigrant workers of the World Trade Centre Restaurant. The poet pictured the emotional situation and conveyed her feeling the form of Alabanza and pay tribute to the workers.
Poem’s structure is divided into many parts, and each part presents a distinctive viewpoint to keep the reader engaged with the scenario created in each of the stanzas. Each Stanza has a new rhythm that forces the reader to a new direction. The title of the poem “Alabanza” is a Spanish word that means “praise.” The poet is in actual praising the immigrant workers that remain determinant and lost their lives in 9/11 attack.
The poet has also signified the importance of life by stating that the lives that were lost on that day were as valuable as a fireman or soldiers who dedicate their life for their country.
“Praise the cook with a shaven head and a tattoo on his shoulder that said Oye, a blue-eyed Puerto Rican with people from Fajardo, the harbor of pirates centuries ago” Martin Espada, Alabanza p. 433
In the above quotation, the form of free verse has directed the readers to understand several key points. The poem interlinks the use of rhyme and rhythm and exhibits numerous purposes by explaining the attack, which has affected the life of every citizen of the United States. The quotation also illustrate the life of every individual in the United Stated and portrayers it in free narratives
“Praise the kitchen in the morning, where the gas burned blue on every stove” Martin Espada, Alabanza p.433
In this stanza, the poet is relating his sadness that comes to the people of the United States at that day, and the horror the families of the fatalities has gone through and the fear that the American people have stuck in their heart for those workers who were working on that day.
“The thunder wilder that thunder” Martin Espada, Alabanza p. 434
In the above stanza, the poet says that though as it stuck by lightning and lives of many people who were working that day expires. Martin Espada is very horrified on the brutality of the condition that he is unable to express it more easily. In the end, the poet leaves a message to their readers to plead humanity and locating a sense to solidity on the tragedy. The poem is unique in his style as it is not written on the base of a continuous rant, and it conveys its message in a very realistic and emotional way. The poet has awakened the human potential and provides a very interesting approach to all the readers and explaining the impact on the tragedy of 9/11 to the people of the United States.
The Poem’s structure is divided into many parts, and each part has its prospective, and each stanza has its rhythm that attracts the reader to a different direction. The poem transforms itself from mourning into praise in a very beautiful manner and praises the worker’ dedication and hard work who lost their life in 9/11 attack. The poet has elicited the meaning out of the attack and focuses on the long term effects of the tragedy on the people of the United States. By closely analyzing the poem has found that the poet has used many tragic, dark, and harsh words. The poet has also related the misery that has befallen the American people on that day and horror that families of the victims have gone through
Espada, Martín. “Alabanza: in praise of local 100.” Labor History 44.4 (2003): 433-434.