In this weeks readings, we read poems from Sylvia Gabriel. To give a little background, Sylvia belonged to the renowned Gabriel family of master Passamaquoddy basket makers in which resulted in her family’s baskets being in museums all over the country. Following her family’s success, she became a devoted teacher of the art. With her name and selections being included in the Dawnland Voices anthology, she was also a talented poet. These selections are being publicly published here for the first time. The poems included are “Wounded Be” and “From Dusk to Dawn”. I will be doing a closer reading and analyzation of the poem “Wounded Be” because I believe that the very obvious theme and points made are very relevant to some peoples realities.
The poem “Wounded Be” explains how we get scars from deep wounds which results in them lasting forever even after our time on Earth has ended. People have these crazy incidents occur in their lives and expect it to not have a lasting affect. However, it obviously depends on the severity of the situation which determines how much of an impact it will make. Scars are not something that are very pretty but they are in fact the ugliest things that are apart of us. While this may be true, scars often become a memory in which people are often reminded of their past when they see their scars in the mirror. These scars can be both physical which can occur by an actual incident and/or mental which is caused by something traumatizing.
Sylvia seems to exemplify both physical and mental scars in this poem by defining what an actual scar is and then explaining how these said scars can rekindle old emotions. The injustices that POC and indigenous people in reference to this anthology must constantly be discussed in which these problems have never truly received a resolution. These groups have dealt with many wars against what was believed to be the dominant race and they suffered greatly both physically and mentally. Thousands of people from these groups have died or have been punished immensely for simply being who they are. People of the modern do not understand that even though it seems like these events happened so long ago, the memories are still everlasting. Specifically with black peoples fights against police brutality, the people that were involved are still living today. In fact that, they may be many of our grandparents or distant relatives.
Gabriel asked, “Where are we all going and what do we expect to gain by rekindling old emotions that only bring us pain?” I have to say that I do understand her point of view in which sometimes memories are meant to be forgotten. However, they also contribute to the way that we live our lives today. Otherwise explained, memories tend to have a huge impact on our lives whether they are good or bad memories. ‘Rekindling old emotions’ can help us learn and improve ourselves for the better. And with the topic discussed previously on black and/or American history, sometimes people need to learn from other peoples memories so that they can better understand how they have come to be who they are today. Also, how these specific memories greatly contribute to our society.