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Blessing the Boats - From New Poems (2000), "libation" Summary & Analysis

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From New Poems (2000), "libation" Summary

This poem is subtitled "north Carolina, 1999," referring probably to a visit the poet has made to a slave plantation. She has brought some gin and pours it out on the ground, a religious ceremony for honoring a deity; in this case, the one honored is a man grown old in slavery, having lived his life and sacrificed everything for the slaveholders, at the end of his life ending up with nothing but tears and thirst.

The first verse mentions that she offers the gin to the ground, imagining the old man, crying in secret so the overseer will not see. The second verse mentions teeth lost, and the ache where the tooth would be, and the subsequent verse points out that the ache for the tooth is similar to the ache he feels...

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This section contains 421 words
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