Noisy Noise

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In the poetry book “Buzzing Hemisphere” by Urayoan Noel, the buzzing that happens in everyday life is often seen and heard as noise. Noise is often a negative term that describes a sound that is annoying or distracting to someone. For the author, Noel, the buzzing noise that is in his way can be a number of different things. Whether it be another language, a person, or the deterritorialization that he is trying to attempt, noise is everywhere. In the majority of his poems, noise is present and it can come in different forms.

In his poem “Rumoreos,” both Spanish and English are side by side with no punctuation in between the two. The only difference is that the words that are in English are bold, while the Spanish is in regular font. This is form of noise. Being bi-cultural and bilingual can be tough. Often times we want to go back to the roots of our parents and embrace their cultural and language, but the other culture and its customs can get in the way. In this poem, the English being bold represents his parents’ culture being overshadowed by the other, and that can be very noisy. So noisy that we just can’t ignore it. It’s tough trying to juggle both worlds at once, and depending where we live and who we are surrounded with, determines which culture we tend to lean more towards.

Noel is being overtaken by the noise of the American culture by the boldness of the English language. The two languages may be next to each other, but the darker font is immediately more prominent and is seen as more important, almost. Looking at the page, my eyes automatically go to English, and the first time reading it, I just read the English because it was easier and more out there than the Spanish. I’m sure that is how Noel feels sometimes, and that is why he incorporated it into his poem.

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Although the noise can be noisy, acknowledging it and trying to push through it is the first step to attempting to empty out the noise in our lives.



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