A conversation with the poet Sandra Cisneros using lines from her biography and writings
In English my name means hope,
But in Spanish it means outcast.
In Spanish it means outcast.
In Spanish it means Americana.
It is the Sunday morning stories I hear about a woman named Lydia and a man name Jose
who came together and made nine beautiful Mexican children.
One of them,
to an American child. Me.
It’s funny how the name Lydia is both Mexican and American.
Something to be proud of, something worth hiding. It goes
back and forth from being responsible, to losing your way.
I inherited my name
from my grandmother.
They say she did mean things.
For that reason I am afraid of who I will become.
Does having the name Lydia mean I will make others hopeless and afraid?
Did they name me Lydia because on my birthday I left my mother hopeless and afraid?
Am I Lydia because I have no hope and I’m afraid?
I was born in Chicago, Illinois.
I grew up in Mexico and Chicago
with six brothers.
Yeah, there were six males in my family.
My father was proud of them and then
there was me.
My mother always talks
about what to do
to be a woman.
Maybe that’s why she named me after my grandmother.
Maybe she wanted me to be bold enough
to be a woman.
At first I didn’t know rather I should write
short stories or poetry books
but then I realized I could do both.
I could write a short story
in a poetic way
but there was just one problem…
afraid of my own name
They say my name funny as if the syllables were made out of tin
and hurt the roof of your mouth.
He says when he hears Lydia
he thinks of beauty beyond comprehension.
Fearless but shy,
sweet and adorable,
I guess my name isn’t so bad to have.
Even if I baptize myself with a different name,
I would still be