Introduction & Overview of Bidwell Ghost by Louise Erdrich

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Bidwell Ghost Summary & Study Guide Description

Bidwell Ghost Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Further Reading on Bidwell Ghost by Louise Erdrich.

"Bidwell Ghost" is an example of Erdrich's use of myth or legend in her poetry, a practice which is a firmly rooted tradition in her Chippewa heritage. It's difficult to tell what "Bidwell Ghost" is a reference to—possibly a family name or the name of a small town in Minnesota, the state where Erdrich was raised. Included in the collection Baptism of Desire in 1989, this poem recounts the myth of an orchard haunted by a young girl's ghost. Presumably killed in a house fire twenty years earlier, she still waits at the edge of the road for passing cars; if you stop she'll climb in but "not say where she is going." By using vivid images throughout, Erdrich describes the burned trees waiting for someone to pick their fruit, as well as the girl's ghost waiting for anyone to pass by, in turn blurring the lines between the human and the natural, and the natural and the supernatural. The poem ends with a question, perhaps asking the reader to ponder the cycle of death and new life.

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This section contains 178 words
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Poetry for Students
Bidwell Ghost from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.