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Commentary On The Lost Heritage By Heather Buck

2435 words - 10 pages

Commentary on the Lost Heritage by Heather Buck

The Lost Heritage by Heather Buck expresses the message that in
today's lifestyle, we have lost our touch with our past. The main
theme of the poem is the fact that the present's children are not
informed about their detailed past. We are blind to the importance and
significance of our heritage.

The opening phrase "Coreopsis, saffron, madder, daily we tread
kaleidoscopes of [color], on Persian rugs we set our feet" indicates
that we have a colorful and bright heritage but that daily we ignore
it and shun ourselves out from that. We "tread" on it as if it meant
nothing to us. It is clear that Heather Buck views our heritage as a
wondrous object as she describes it as a Persian carpet full of many
different bright and colorful aspects. Heather Buck then moves on to
say that we are "blind to the woven threads and dyes, the intricate
patterns that shape our lives". Through this phrase, Heather Buck
expresses that we in the present do not realize the complex nature of
our heritage, but despite our ignorance at our heritage, it still
continues to affect our lives. The finishing line "while our minds are
indelibly printed by one another" indicates that our ideas and values
are taken forth from the actions of the people around us and this
makes up for our lost heritage in our minds. We gather up new values
and ideals from the things that we see and we continue to sever our
connections to the past in that way. The word usage of "indelibly"
indicates that it is almost impossible to erase that mark which is
made by another person. This severely contrasts to the previous
thought that we have all but forgotten our heritage, which is just
another value that was created by another person.

The second stanza brings forth the image of the ancestors who had
created our heritage. It adds increasing support to the fact that we
are "blind" to our heritage and shows us the hardships that our
ancestors faced in the creation process of our heritage. Heather Buck
compares us to "a man whose past and present are folded into one
whole." By this she implies that although we do not have our entire
past locked within us, there is still some aspects that we overlook
that have come from the past. This is then reinforced by the line "we
inherit more than we know from the dust and bones of those lying under
the churchyard's stones". By the dust and bones, Heather Buck relates
to the now dead ancestors who are buried and decayed. She tells us
that although we feel that a person who had lived 300 to 400 years
back had given us nothing of great value, the truth is we had received
a lot of our current traditions and values from their creation. The
next half of the stanza then relates to the hard labor and lifestyle
of our ancestors. It is described that they had...

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