Indian Boarding School Essays

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"Compressed emotions," that is the explanation a teacher once gave to the ongoing question, "What is poetry?" He said it was someone's deepest emotions, as if you were reading them right out of that person's mind, which in that case would not consist of any words at all. If someone tells you a story, it is usually like a shell. Rarely are all of the deepest and most personal emotions revealed effectively. A poem of that story would be like the inside of the shell. It personifies situations, and symbolizes and compares emotions with other things in life. Louise Erdrich's poem Indian Boarding School puts the emotions of a person or group of people in a setting around a railroad track. The feelings experienced are …show more content…
Considering that they start from the face, the Turtle Mountains may represent breasts. The two are alike in the fact that they are both under the face. With that in mind, and the next line, "Riding scars you can't get lost. Home is the place they cross," (lines 6-7). One could assume that "home" means the heart. The phrase, "Home is where the heart is" attests to this well. If the turtle Mountains do represent breasts, it makes it even more convincing, since the heart is right near them.

There should still be an explanation as to how the land relates to the Indian children. The "old lacerations" are oddly put into the line,"The rails, old lacerations that we love,"(line 4). Old scars could also represent past memories. The old rails could be the path leading to their homeland. In that case, the children would be happy to ride on the rails.

Since lacerations are on the ground, and the ground could represent a face as well, the use of personification for the ground is very important. This is evident in the line, "We watch through cracks in boards as the land starts rolling, rolling till it hurts to be here, cold in regulation clothes," (lines 9-11). They are imagining to be in boxcars, peaking at the outside as they grow farther away from the school. The land rolling hurts them because the lacerations must follow that rolling pattern too. They may be "cold