Noted without comment

In her poem “graduate school first semester: so here I am writing about Indians again,” Cheryl Savageau, a poet of Abenaki descent, tells about an ongoing conversation she once had with a white professor. Here’s an excerpt from the poem:

…but when I mentioned
the European world view,
she said there isn’t any such thing
which was quite a relief to me,
I hate to think there were a
whole lot of people thinking in
hierarchies and as if the
earth is a dead object and
animals and plants and some people
not having spirit…

3 thoughts on “Noted without comment”

  1. Is there a single European worldview? Sounds like she’s talking about capitalism or hierarchy or imperialism or simple greed, and if she’s a student of the original Americans, she knows they didn’t all have admirable philosophies.

    Now, what the professor meant, I haven’t a clue. Maybe the professor is a defender of Elon Musk who wants to use up this planet and move on to the next.

  2. Will, I realized that I quoted badly. I should have quoted the first part of the stanza:

    “then she wanted me to tell her
    if there is such a thing as
    an Indian world view
    and I said, well, yes and no,
    which I figured was safe
    since I would be at least
    half-right whichever answer
    she wanted,…”

    Which goes to exactly your point: there is no single European point of view, any more than there is a single Indian point of view. Sorry my bad quoting left this confusion.

  3. No worries. It was my bad for failing to follow the link to the poem, which is an honest attempt to get at a hard discussion.

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