Forgot your password?  
Related Topics

Introduction & Overview of For the White poets who would be Indian by Wendy Rose

This Study Guide consists of approximately 62 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of For the White poets who would be Indian.
This section contains 298 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our For the White poets who would be Indian Study Guide

For the White poets who would be Indian Summary & Study Guide Description

For the White poets who would be Indian 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 For Further Study on For the White poets who would be Indian by Wendy Rose.

Introduction

Often, when poets create work that is inspired primarily by anger toward an individual or a group of people, the poem turns out "preachy" or too emotional. Wendy Rose's poem "For the White poets who would be Indian," first published in Lost Copper (1980), is based on her feelings of indignation toward non-Native American writers who claim they can understand how it feels to be Indian and that they can create work truly from an Indian perspective. Rose's contention is that this cannot be done. She does not call out any "White poets" in particular in this poem, but she does offer descriptive insight into the way they go about their work and the possible reasons that these poets choose to adopt another culture as their own—at least in their poetry. Because Rose is able to present her beliefs in graphic, illuminating language (as opposed to an overly emotional diatribe) and to maintain a sense of honest poetry throughout the piece, it does not fall into the ranks of dull sermonizing.

"For the White poets who would be Indian" draws upon the idea of "white shamanism," a term used by some Native American poets—including Rose—to address the issue of white writers pretending to be so entrenched in Native American ways and beliefs that they are "just as Indian" as those born into the culture. The word "shaman" refers to a very powerful and revered figure in many tribal societies, indicating one who acts as a link between the visible human world and the invisible spirit world. A shaman practices magic or sorcery to heal the sick or to control natural forces. The term "white shamanism," then, is a sarcastic comment on the hypocrisy displayed by white writers "who would be Indian," and Rose explains why in this poem.

Read more from the Study Guide

This section contains 298 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our For the White poets who would be Indian Study Guide
Copyrights
For the White poets who would be Indian from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
Follow Us on Facebook