Study Guide

The Latin Deli: An Ars Poetica The Home

By Judith Ortiz Cofer

The Home

Home: it's more than that button at the top of your browser window, gang. It's really what "The Latin Deli: An Ars Poetica" is all about. The deli acts as a home away from home, a place where folks can come to be reminded of the homes they left behind. For one reason or another, they've had to say goodbye to the sights, sounds, and tastes of the places where they grew up. That's why the Latin Deli, packed with familiar items, draws in people who are desperate for a reminder of their past. It's like a one-stop cure for homesickness.

Questions About The Home

  1. Other than the food, what does the deli provide to remind the shoppers of home?
  2. Does the deli really help? Or could it make things worse by reminding people of what they left behind? How can you tell?
  3. What is the store owner's role in providing a home away from home?

Chew on This

It's a noble effort, but there's really no such thing as a home away from home. You're either at home, or you're not.

This poem shows, more than anything, that "home" is just an abstract concept that we carry around in our heads.