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There Is No Word For Goodbye

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Tori Ramsey

on 16 March 2015

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Transcript of There Is No Word For Goodbye

There Is No Word For Goodbye
Written By: Mary Tall Mountain

Teaching Point #2
The theme of this poem is directly stated in the stanzas. The title, and throughout the poem, tell us that there is no word for goodbye. You should always say, "See you" or "Tlaa" as it is used in the poem. We learn that you will always see someone at a later time. If you don't see someone again on Earth, you will see them in Heaven. It's not that there isn't actually a word for goodbye it's just that they think they will see each other again.

This poem is written by Mary Tall Mountain who is a Native American from Alaska. It doesn't have difficult vocabulary words because the Aunt in the poem is speaking to her younger niece.
About the Author:
Mary Tall Mountain was an Athabaskan Indian from Alaska. When her mother died, she was adopted by a family who was not Athabaskan. They deprived her from her roots. She started writing to reconnect to her Native American traditions when she was older.
Teaching Point #1
Imagery is used in the poem to create a picture in the reader's mind using the five senses, but mostly sight. Native American poems, such as this one, use descriptive words because the poems are passed down orally. Also, there wasn't paper to write down the poems, so over generations, they have become more descriptive.
Examples of Imagery from,
There Is No Word For Goodbye
Line 1:
"Sokoya, I said, looking through/the net of wrinkles into/ wise black pools/of her eyes." (this means the aunt is elderly)
Line 9:
"A shade of feeling rippled/the wind-tanned skin."
Line 12:
"...watching the river flash."
Line 19:
"She touched me light/as a bluebell."
Example of theme from,
There Is No Word For Goodbye
Line 24: "We always think you're coming back,/ but if you don't,/ we'll see you someplace else./ You understand./ There is no word for goodbye."
The word "goodbye" is used three times altogether in every other stanza to emphasize the point that you shouldn't say goodbye because it means you might not see someone again.
Simile and Personification
Simile: "She touched me light/ as a bluebell." -This simile shows that the elderly,Aunt Sokoya's touch is gentle.

Personification: " ...river flash."
- This tells how the river is flashing. Mary Tall Mountain uses two meaning words throughout the poem. Flash can mean to go by very fast or to shine light, but in the poem, flash means the reflection of her feelings on the river.
Tori,Maria,and Layne
Stanza Formation
Mary Tall Mountain uses a specific format of stanzas and how the lines are set up. For the first three stanzas she uses a four line format. In stanzas 2,4,and 6 she uses the word goodbye.
Mary Tall Mountain is trying to make the point that she thinks there is no word for goodbye. She doesn't mean that there isn't actually a word, she means that she believes you shouldn't say it. You should say "See you" because you will see someone at a later time either on Earth or not.
Full transcript