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Native Americans: A Short Poem in Their Honor

Updated on February 6, 2018
DzyMsLizzy profile image

A lifelong reader & writer, Liz writes poetry; articles on this, & other sites; & playing with words. She also enjoys movies & reviewing.

Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce Tribe

Famous for saying, "From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever."
Famous for saying, "From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever."

Ancestral Sins

Savages, (you said) they were.

Unfit to live.

Animals.

Brutes.

Evil Incarnate.

Uncivilized.

Wild.

Tame or eliminate (you ordered).

You chose

the second option.

Does being civilized mean destruction

of the waters which sustain us?

of the air we breathe?

of the animals of the plains and forests?

of anything...

.....................unlike ourselves?

If it does,

I should think

I'd rather be wild.

© 2011 Liz Elias

Comments

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  • DzyMsLizzy profile imageAUTHOR

    Liz Elias 

    4 years ago from Oakley, CA

    Hello, Shyron E Shenko,

    Thank you so very much. I'm pleased I was able to strike the right chord with this. The horrible treatment these proud and noble people have received at the hands of our government over the years has always bothered me tremendously.

  • Shyron E Shenko profile image

    Shyron E Shenko 

    4 years ago from Texas

    Thank you Ms. Lizzy, you did my ancestors proud.

    Voted up, AI and shared.

  • DzyMsLizzy profile imageAUTHOR

    Liz Elias 

    7 years ago from Oakley, CA

    Thank you very much, Jefsaid. You are so correct.

  • Jefsaid profile image

    Jefsaid 

    7 years ago from London, UK

    Good work!

    I beleive our perceptions are goverened by what is deemed acceptable by the collective view of general society. On the basis that civilisation is the indoctrination of the masses into believing a similar set of 'progressive' values i.e. modernisation, commercialisation and globalisation (AKA destruction) then it must be responsible for the consequences of these activities.

  • DzyMsLizzy profile imageAUTHOR

    Liz Elias 

    7 years ago from Oakley, CA

    Hi, David--

    Thanks for your input--those are valid points. This poem, however, was written before everyone was so aware of being "politically correct," and it was intended as a reflection on what people used to say; a snapshot of how they used to think, and ending with my opinion of those archaic "values," which I disdain.

    Perhaps I need to re-work this poem to make that more clear.

  • profile image

    David Martin 

    7 years ago

    An appropriate sentiment; but we must be careful that the reader would not mistakenly infer that "wild" vs."tame" is a useful idea when referring to Native Americans (or any cultural group). Maybe a substitute wording? We know from anthropology that every culture on the earth just be judged on its own terms, not in comparison with others. There is no absolute standard for what "civilized" means, and anthropologists have largely stopped using that terrm, as you no doubt know. We just don't want to foster, even by implication, any of the old and damaging stereotypical attitudes.

  • DzyMsLizzy profile imageAUTHOR

    Liz Elias 

    7 years ago from Oakley, CA

    Thank you, Seeker7,

    I am glad you liked this tribute.

  • Seeker7 profile image

    Helen Murphy Howell 

    7 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    Hi,

    Fantastic poem. Very original and powerful. The presentation is great.

  • DzyMsLizzy profile imageAUTHOR

    Liz Elias 

    7 years ago from Oakley, CA

    Thank you so much, Nell! ;-)

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 

    7 years ago from England

    Hi, I also loved the way you wrote this, every word was so powerful, nice one! cheers nell

  • DzyMsLizzy profile imageAUTHOR

    Liz Elias 

    7 years ago from Oakley, CA

    Thank you, Susan!

  • Just Ask Susan profile image

    Susan Zutautas 

    7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Very Nice I loved how you presented this.

  • DzyMsLizzy profile imageAUTHOR

    Liz Elias 

    7 years ago from Oakley, CA

    Thank you very much, prasetio30!

  • prasetio30 profile image

    prasetio30 

    7 years ago from malang-indonesia

    Good work, my friend. I liked this poem. Thanks for writing this. Take care!

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