Aug 13

Spirit-Filled Sonnetts: Examining Native American Poetry

Native American poetry teaches about culture, values, connection, and spirituality. This specific post analyzes Native American poems and how they approach the topic of spirituality and what it means to them. Bedagi also known as Big Thunder’s unnamed poem quotes: “The Great Spirit is in all things: He is in the air we breathe. The Great Spirit is our father, but the Earth is our Mother. She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us.” This poem reveals the humility of Big Thunder and how he believes people ought to take care of Earth. He explains how people are to appreciate what the Earth provides, through a paternal and maternal lens. Dave Chief, the grandfather of Red Dog, quotes: “Respect means listening until everyone has been heard and understood, only then is there a possibility of balance and harmony, the goal of Indian spirituality.” This poetic claim teaches how to accomplish balance and harmony, which are core goals of spirituality. It also recognizes the importance of respect and community within Native American cultures. Both poems value spirit through unique perspectives. All-in-all, respect and giving back to the Earth are two main parts of the Native American culture that connect to spirituality.
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Emma Okaty
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