Heritage: Family and Life

857 WordsOct 31, 20084 Pages
Based off the poem “Heritage” by Linda Hogan “I Learned Everything” Hogan’s “Heritage” is a poem about accepting life, learning from experiences, and growing as an individual. It’s about maintaining focus on the important things in life; not getting caught up in the small, frivolous things. The writer is a woman of mixed race and cultures; part Chickasaw Indian, and part Caucasian. As a child and also into her adult years, she often wondered at the calmness and acceptance of her Native American grandparents as they were forced to move from place to place; often losing their possessions and even much of their culture all for the sake of ‘progress’. And yet they never showed anger towards anyone. They came to understand that material…show more content…
Literary critic Joseph Perisi states, “She [Linda Hogan] vividly brings to life the realities of the natural world, its seasons, and their effects, observed with precision and understood with uncanny sympathy; time and again, she hits the exact metaphor that conveys the feeling of being truly alive. …” The writer’s ability to see her life and the lives of those around her and portray it in such fascinating application is an encouragement to those who read her work. In studying this poem and its author, I am struck with the feeling of gratitude in realizing that the life I have is a gift. Understanding that life can be good or bad from our own point of view; depending on how we look at it and what we make of it. Whether we take what we have for granted or whether we appreciate every moment we have, take pride in our accomplishments, love those who love us, and to accept who we are. Our life is our heritage. Works Cited Gellert, Elisabeth, ed. Poetry Criticism Vol. 35. Detroit: Gale Group, 2002. p243-279 Literature Criticism Online Perisi, Joseph. Contemporary Literary Criticism. Gale Research
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