On Marilyn Chin's Poetry

Chin's exploration of East-to-West cultural assimilation carries harsh political overtones. In her "How I Got That Name: An Essay on Assimilation" from her 1994 collection The Phoenix Gone, the Terrace Empty, she writes of her father's seduction by Western culture and values: a "petty thug," he "obsessed with a bombshell blonde/transliterated 'Mei Ling' to 'Marilyn,"' thus dooming his dark-haired daughter to bear for life the name of "some tragic white woman/swollen with gin and Nembutal." Other verses reflect upon the scars borne by diverse Asian Americans, including women whose value as a human being has been reduced to their novelty as a sex object ("Homage to Diana Toy") or even of the second-generation of Asian Americans about whom Chin writes in "I'm Ten, Have Lots of Friends, and Don't Care," included in her first collection of verse, 1987's Dwarf Bamboo.


Title On Marilyn Chin's Poetry Type of Content General Poet Criticism
Criticism Author Criticism Target Marilyn Chin
Criticism Type Poet Originally Posted 28 Jun 2021
Publication Status Excerpted Criticism Publication The Dictionary of Literary Biography
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