With diction, Canisia Lubrin’s poem “The Mongrel” elicits fresh conceptualizations of diasporic geographies by combining violent language with terms of endearment. The “blood,” “revolts,” and general strife and struggle emphasize the force and brutality that produce diasporas. Yet Lubrin complicates the horrors that are associated with diasporic geographies by attaching them to terms like “elegant” and “grace.” The diction arguably allows beauty and brutality to coexist. The notion that oppression doesn’t inevitably deprive one of their dignity and allure could qualify as a “fresh” concept.
Another literary device that elicits fresh conceptualizations connects to imagery. The poem ties together an array of images. There are depictions of primitive life and portrayals of modernity and outer space. The diverse images might help one conceptualization how diasporic geographies take root on Earth and transcend it.
A third literary device, symbolism, relates to the scientific imagery. Consider how the mention of science could help one see how space exploration symbolizes diasporic geographies. Even in space, the Mongrel can be displaced since space, as the inclusion of Albert Einstein indicates, can be viewed as the dominion of the West.
A fourth literary device used by Lubrin is hyperbole. To reinforce the dramatic journeys of diasporas, Lubrin embraces theatrics and pyrotechnics. The over-the-top ferocity might help one conceptualize the magnitude of what diasporas have to overcome.
A fifth literary device is repetition. Lubrin repeats words and phrases throughout the poem. God appears twice, as does the phrase million years. Of course, the Mongrel makes numerous appearances. Perhaps repetition develops the concept that displacement doesn’t preclude continuity.
To find additional literary devices in “The Mongrel,” look out for alliteration and juxtaposition. Juxtaposition links to Lubrin’s diction, while alliteration could be seen in terms of rhythm, repetition, or continuity.