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Mary Tallmountian, “There Is No Word For Goodbye”

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Tlaa How does the mouth say goodbye to the heart? Mary Tallmountian writes in her poem, "There Is No Word For Goodbye" about how the Athabaskan people can do no such thing. How can one person say such a phrase as there is no word for goodbye? Of course there is, there are hundreds of ways to say goodbye in many different languages. For example; bye, bye-bye, so long, chao, peace out, don't let the door hit you where the good lord split you, and other crazy sayings like the last couple. The general public would never think twice, and for that matter not even once about saying goodbye to someone and thinking what that really means. ...read more.


What if by some reason that these two gentalmen never did have the chance to see one another or talk to each other again. Was that goodbye final? In, "There Is No Word For Goodbye," by Mary Tallmountian, lines one through four, she describes about Sokoya looking through the net of wrinkles into the wise black pools of the her aunt's eyes. To notice a feature so distinctive as that one would never forget those eyes. Tallmountian is saying that even if Sokoya and her aunt never see each other again that Sokoya will always rember her by those eyes. That image of the eyes will always be with Sokoya, therefore, never truly being away from her aunt. ...read more.


Here Sokoya's aunt tells Sokoya that even in death we will see you in that someplace else. That someplace else could mean heaven or hell or what ever the Athabaskan people believe in for what comes after death. So, Tallmountian speaks of death as not the ultimate ending for a person, but as just another step in a longer journey. Tallmountian raises a very intresting question, when does your mouth say goodbye to your heart? Tallmountian tells that we never truly say goodbye not when two people are seperated for a length of time or even in death. She says that we are always together no matter what because people never leave our hearts. Maybe we should incorporate what the Athabaskan people say instead of goodbye. They say, "tlaa" which roughly means see you. What a great way to think. ...read more.

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