Essay about At the Cemetery, Walnut Grove Plantation
842 WordsJan 18, 20134 Pages
The forgotten ones “at the cemetery, /walnut grove plantation, /south carolina, 1989” The poem at the cemetery, walnut grove plantation, south carolina, 1989 by Lucille Clifton is a six stanza poem with many repetitions throughout the poem conveying the idea of how the slaves that worked in the walnut plantation were forgotten and not honored. The speaker of the poem, who is taking a tour around the plantation and cemetery, expressed anger throughout the poem as the tension slowly escalates ending with repetitions of “here lies”. Putting all the elements of the poem together, paradox and repetition, it perfectly articulates the underlying meaning of the poem, which is to remember and honor the dead slaves, men and women, whom worked in…show more content…
One interpretation for this phrase is that people tend to enjoy only the finished product of the plantation but does not have any respect for the slaves that worked there. Another interpretation that can be inferred is that as the speaker gets shown around the plantation by a tour guide, the tour guide does not mention anything about the slaves that were buried there.
Other evidence that supports the theme is line 17-18: “the inventory lists ten slaves/ but only men were recognized.” Because these lines were italicized, it can be assume that the speaker is just reading a sign and is simply stating a historical fact. However, reading into the lines demonstrates how the slaves were dehumanized. The word “inventory,” which means complete list of items such as property or goods in stock, shows that slaves were only property to slave owners and does not have sort of human quality in them. Another deeper meaning that can be collected from “only men alone recognized” is the feeling that women slaves were even more mistreated and were not even recognized as an inventory, which can be inferred that women slaves were even lower than male slaves and were not recognized as an object or property. The denial of women slaves’ existence ties closely to lines 25-28: some of these slaves were women some of them did this honored work.
Here, the speaker is telling the readers that not only men worked in this plantation