What do you find in this poem written by a member of the Sauk and Fox (Mesquaki) Indian tribe of North America? To what sense do they appeal?
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The poet has used the sensuous images as effective tools in this poem. As a result he is successful in creating a vivid picture of his grandmother. These images particularly appeal to our sense of sight (if i were to see …), sense of touch (if i felt …), sense of smell (with the smell of roots.), and sense of sound (if i heard …). The poet, through the use of these sensuous images has tried to express how much he loved and how close was his grandmother to his heart.
There are various images used in the poem, for example, ‘purple scarf’, ‘plastic shopping bag’, ‘warm and damp hands with the smell of roots’, ‘voice coming from the rock’ and ‘a sleeping fire at night’. All these images are closely related to the activities and life styles of Mesquaki tribal people. Most of tribal people do not have the opportunity to enjoy a fairly rich and luxurious life. They buy ordinary stuff in a small amount. As they have to survive on natural plants, it is natural that their hands smell roots which they use as food. Similarly rocks and night flies are also inseparable parts of tribal life. All these images used in the poem are very much appealing because they provide rural and rustic setting to the poem. These images give the realistic impression and make the poem very much life-like.