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Poem Analysis

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“Where Mountain Lion Lay Down with Deer”: A Poem Analysis (1973) Leslie Marmon Silko wrote this poem, and she is known for her lyric treatment of Native American subjects. Born in 1948, Silko is of Laguna Pueblo, Mexican and Anglo-American heritage.
The poem can be paraphrased with the line, “when I go out into nature, I see that Native American culture and nature itself is being forgotten and destroyed.” Silko portrays a beautiful day in nature, with vivid imagery through the entire poem to add effect and enrich the beauty of the words.
Throughout the poem, words and lines such as, “silently” and “returning” are indented to show the progression of the speaker climbing up and down the mountain. It is like she is stepping back in time to a forgotten place. In the fourth line she states, “I smell the wind for my ancestors”, to portray a search for her culture that is fading away.
The line “where mountain lion lay down with deer” is very significant. It shows that past or present, things coexist and change each other. Three lines stating, “It is better to stay up here watching wind’s reflection in tall yellow flowers”, follow it. This shows that she would rather be enjoying the exquisiteness of nature. The imagery makes you think of beautiful flowers, swaying in the wind.
The three consecutive lines “The old ones who remember me are gone”, “the old songs are all forgotten”, “and the story of my birth”, portray that with time, things are forgotten which should be treasured. The next two following lines, “How I danced in snow-frost moonlight” and “distant stars to the end of the earth”, show how much she appreciates nature.
The three ending lines, “the memory”, “spilling out”, “into the world”, again remind us of the essential things forgotten and that the memory should spill out into the world. Everyone needs to remember that the world is still full of beauty, and we need to preserve it. Things lost should be remembered, and things that are beautiful should not be ruined.
This poem describes many things that are dwindling in the world now. Due to human invasion and development, a lot of places like what’s described in this poem do not exist. Even though there are still some places preserved, those numbers continue to get smaller. Silko shows courteousness to nature and just passes through and takes in the beauty.

Works Cited

"Leslie Marmon Silko." Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation. Web. 05 Mar. 2015.

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