Bidwell Ghost Essay

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Kelly is a writer and a teacher at two colleges in Illinois. In this essay, he examines the harsh attitude taken by the speaker of Erdrich's poem and how its fractured time sequence helps readers understand this attitude.

Louise Erdrich's "Bidwell Ghost" is a strange and difficult poem that presents a sympathetic situation in the voice of a speaker who is not sympathetic. Readers are faced with two possible ways to read the poem, and the two conflict with one another. Everything about the poem's subject and structure evokes a sense of pity for the unhappy, powerless ghost, but in the end the poem questions whether that pity is really appropriate.

The poem is based on a story that almost everyone is bound to have heard at some time, about a girl who died long ago under tragic circumstances and who walks the earth, seeking the company of...

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This section contains 1,753 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Bidwell Ghost Study Guide
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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.