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Commentary on The Lost Heritage by Heather Buck

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Commentary on the Lost Heritage The Lost Heritage by Heather Buck expresses the message that in today's lifestyle, we have lost our touch with our past. The main theme of the poem is the fact that the present's children are not informed about their detailed past. We are blind to the importance and significance of our heritage. The opening phrase "Coreopsis, saffron, madder, daily we tread kaleidoscopes of [color], on Persian rugs we set our feet" indicates that we have a colorful and bright heritage but that daily we ignore it and shun ourselves out from that. We "tread" on it as if it meant nothing to us. It is clear that Heather Buck views our heritage as a wondrous object as she describes it as a Persian carpet full of many different bright and colorful aspects. Heather Buck then moves on to say that we are "blind to the woven threads and dyes, the intricate patterns that shape our lives". Through this phrase, Heather Buck expresses that we in the present do not realize the complex nature of our heritage, but despite our ignorance at our heritage, it still continues to affect our lives. ...read more.


The had to physically go to the river banks in order to retrieve the rushed with which they made into candles by having them tallowed in animal fat. This contrasts to today where we simply go to a supermarket and buy candles, which were produced in a factory. The phrase "flames of tallowed rushes" refers to the burning of the candlewick. The wind is described to be of such a degree of fury that the flames were flickering. This indicates that although we now live in a seal heat controlled home, they had to live in unfinished homes, which made them unable to avoid the threats of nature. The following phrase "pressing and printing their blackened tongues on to beams" tells us the flame was gently burning the house beams blackening it over time. This adds to the overall meaning of the poem emphasizing the amount of time, as it takes a extremely long period of time to gently blacken the wooden beams on houses, that it took our ancestors to establish the heritage that we today overlook and tread on. Then Heather Buck returns the time setting of the poem back to the present tense with the phrase ""we hang our quiet landscapes, tipping and tilting them till we achieve an uneasy marriage". ...read more.


This is described to a greater depth in this stanza that the child is confused in a world of adults who were described to "sway backwards and forwards over her head, their tongues unload fear at her feat." By this Heather Buck is describing the fear that the little child was facing due to the fact that she had not been taught her heritage. The main point that Heather Buck is bringing forth by her poem The Lost Heritage is the fact that without knowing their heritage, children of today are confused and frightened. She conveys the fact that we have severed our connection to our past and now are unable to link it back. The poem is structured in the same way an essay is with the author presenting her argument in the first stanza about the fact that we are today blind to the intricacies of our heritage, then supports her argument with the following three stanzas finishing off with a concluding stanza. This format clearly indicates, as any essay would, the situation, which is the fact that we have indeed lost all touch with our past and this has led to dire results. ...read more.

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