Introduction to Latina and Latino Literature/Pedro Pietri

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Pedro Pietri [edit]

Brief Biography[edit]

Pedro Pietri was born on March 21, 1943 to Francisco and Petra Pietri. He would be one of five children that the family had. Pietri died aboard a plane going to New York from Tijuana where he had been seeking treatment for a fatal illness that he had contracted after serving in the military during the Vietnam War. Pietri is well known for “Puerto Rican Obituary” and The Masses Are Asses. Pietri was Part of the Young Lords movement that took place in Spanish Harlem during the 70’s, he was an active member of this movement although it was suppressed by the police for fear that it would create a large uprising. Pietri was a strong independista who believed that Puerto Rico should break off of the United States and govern themselves.


Place in Latina/o Literature[edit]

Pedro Pietri was part of the 20th century Nuyorican movement. He was also the co-founder of the Nuyorican Poets Café.


Analysis of Specific Texts[edit]

"Puerto Rican Obituary": This poem touches on the difficulties of speaking two languages simultaneously Pietri’s Puerto Rican Obituary speaks on the indifference with which the Puerto Ricans are regarded. It also touches on the theme of struggle and dreams. The women and men in this poem live their lives working for a misery and dreaming of better things but die without having achieved their dreams and goals. Small things like better pay and winning the lottery are some of the goals that these people had. The American dream was not what they had hoped it would be making the struggle much more personal to them. It was also a critique on the war and his opposition to it.


Comparison to Other Latina/o Authors[edit]

Pedro Pietri and Tato Laviera: Just like “El Spanglish National Anthem” the new generation Latinos in “AmeRican” all have dreams and want to make a name for themselves, however they do not know where they fit in. They wanted to break away from the mainland but they did not fit with the mainland or with Americans so they felt out of place and their struggle shows how Puerto Ricans took a long time to find their voice in this country. The American dream was not what they had hoped it would be making their struggle much more personal to them. Both narrators miss living in Puerto Rico and one-day hope to return to Puerto Rico.


Links to Online Copies of Texts[edit]

"The Puerto Rican Obituary" (1973): http://www.virtualboricua.org/Docs/poems_pp02.htm

"El Spanglish National Anthem" (1993): http://www.virtualboricua.org/Docs/poems_pp01.htm


Syllabi[edit]

Miscellaneous Links[edit]

Bibliography of Secondary Sources[edit]