Gary Anthony Soto (born April 12, 1952) is an American author and poet.
Soto was born to Mexican-American parents Manuel (1910–1957) and Angie Soto (1924-). In his youth, he worked in the fields of the San Joaquin Valley. Soto's father died in 1957, when he was five years old. As his family had to struggle to find work, he had little time or encouragement in his studies, hence, he was not a good student. Soto notes that in spite of his early academic record, while at high school he found an interest in poetry through writers such as Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, Jules Verne, Robert Frost and Thornton Wilder.
Soto attended Fresno City College and California State University, ... more »
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Gary Soto Poems
A Red Palm
You're in this dream of cotton plants. You raise a hoe, swing, and the first weeds Fall with a sigh. You take another step, Chop, and the sigh comes again,
Saturday At The Canal
I was hoping to be happy by seventeen. School was a sharp check mark in the roll book, An obnoxious tuba playing at noon because our team Was going to win at night. The teachers were
Mission Tire Factory, 1969
All through lunch Peter pinched at his crotch, And Jesús talked about his tattoos, And I let the flies crawl my arm, undisturbed, Thinking it was wrong, a buck sixty five,
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Edgar Allan Poe
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(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
A Red Palm
You're in this dream of cotton plants.
You raise a hoe, swing, and the first weeds
Fall with a sigh. You take another step,
Chop, and the sigh comes again,
Until you yourself are breathing that way
With each step, a sigh that will follow you into town.
That's hours later. The sun is a red blister
Coming up in your palm. Your back is strong,
Young, not yet the broken chair
In an abandoned school of dry spiders.
Dust settles on your forehead, dirt
Smiles under each fingernail.
You chop, step, and by the end of the first row,
You can buy one splendid ...