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East Chicago, the Indian side of town

Poverty, alchoholism, crime, suicide being the only way out to the young single mother.
13th floor significance=badluck. Not all buildings have this 13th floor.
Contrast between the life she knew during her childhood and what shes experiencing now: Mourning the
lost beauty of her own life, she seeks comfort in the memory of when she ate wild rice on scraped down
plates in warm wood rooms. Now she is surrounded by people who scream out from below for her to
People screaming out from below for her to jump
Trapped between life and death, isolation, no way to obtain her heritage.
Impossibility to speak (teeth break off at the edges, no means of expressing herself.
Only way of communicating=suicide
Connection with the American Indians is lost=no way of speaking
The ending offer the hope that the woman chose to reassert her identity and to survive by abandoning her
suicide attempt, but with the possibility of letting go of the edge.
Ambiguous ending=the contemporary Native American culture exists on the edge, between survival and


2nd person you personalizezs the poem, encouraging the reader to assert her (the author) ability to survive in
the modern world.
Remember used repeatedly to emphasize the guidance that the poet provides. Other symbols: universe,
sky, star as Ive seen in her other poems (The Woman Falling from the Sky, the analysis above, New
Orleans etc.)
Sunrise the most important time of day
Mothers: givers of breathe and survival.
Fathers: no life without them
White, red, yellow, black-> colors for all people.
Nature is an important part of life: trees, plants, animal life=> tribes, families, histories. Theyre seen as
alive poems while the wind speaks and tells the story.
People are connected, no isolation of human being is allowed.
The strongest advice is that nature and the human beings must always be connected to each other.


She speaks of the tribe and her Creek ancestors and their journey down the MIssisipi to New Orleans
Emphasis on memories, especially in the There are voices buried in the Mississippi mud ther are stories
here made of memory.
Referral to the past and the memories that exist
Exemplification of the oppression of the Creek ancestors that were forced to leave
not gold => mockery on DeSotos search for gold, she was exaggerating the fact that gold is not to be
found in DeSotos town
An imperative to emrabce and remember our familys history and our roots.



Horses=spirited creatures, they are magical, they are supposed to be something else
Singifcant to Native Americans.
Horses are supposed to be a feeling, they are important to her (the poet) and to her community
Repetition of she had horses=>importance and significance

Joy says that its not about what the poem means, its how the poem means. It is about how every
and each reader is able to understand the poem and resemble within it. It is more important how and
in connection with what or who someone is able to understand it.



Strongly connected to the mythologiy of the Iroquois and Huron of North American.
The woman in discussion is a primal ancestor and plays a central role in creation
She lives above the sky. She fells from the sky due to pregnancy or due to the hole left in the sky by the tree
of life
She existed before anyone else
She good twin shaped the sky and created the sun, the moon, stars, mountains and many plants and
The evil twin set out to destroy the good one, created darkness to drive the sun from the sky and made
monsters, storms, and various kinds of dangerous beasts.


Title signifance: defines the act of creation through the stanzas that are to come
Love->light (happiness)
Stuck between paradise(heaven) and fear(hell)
Shame due to impossibility of leading someone to death correctly
Shame cause people still die and she couldnt do something
Fear is the entity that is able to destroy everything (this house, in danger of being torn apart)
The act of speaking => creation
Words and songs=> blessing
Stars=>symbol of purity, happiness


We are born everyday

We are not aware of falling
Our dreams keep us going and alive
We need to fight to be different from the others (in the sack were all the people of the world. We fought until
there was ah ole in the bag.)=>salvation
Humanity is in connection with nature: The earth and stars, every creature and leaf imagined with us.
Imagination, the weapon of hope and continuity



All peoples are relatives of God

The God is both a female and man, a mother and a father, and is responsible for the good of peoples on this
earth, we all live under ITS protection
The Natives land is one of nightmares but also of miracles, and they pray for a way of not giving it up
Hope is losing (no beginning or end)
Memories in connection with the land revelead in IV.

Part I states that all peoples, nations are Gods relatives. The nations were created due to Gods
loneliness. It is interesting that God here is different from what we ordinarily know, it is both a woman
and a man. We still do not know for sure if hes a man or a woman.
Nations were created as equal, created from love to love each others (love us became our loves,
sharing tables of food enough for everyone)


The passing of years let the natives naked but with a great history (for the stories we have of each
other). It is both a land of nightmares and one of miracles. Rich soils, strong community, in harmony

with nature, power, but also of nightmares because the contemporary era is close. The heritage and the
history will live no matter what (the song with no beginning nor end)- may also say that hope is gone
It is like an imperative to other nations or people to be kind and understanding and see that such
heritage should not be bothered by contemporary items.
Part IV presents a life journey from south to west north and east: in the south a new chance to live
and last, west strong belief in God, north hope is apparently gone, dreams unfulfilled, but the spirit
of all that we love, the land, our people, our history and heritage is back (long lasting)
It shows how other nations are no more in harmony, that even tough God created us all as equals and is
both our mother and father, sister and brother, like we all should be for each others that is no longer the
case. The natives are praying for understanding, for reconciliation. THE SPIRIT IS BACK TO US, scream for
returning to the harmony that was in the beginning in order to preserve a heritage with such great history
and beauty.
!!! Audre Lorde- look her up