(Masterpieces of American Literature)

“Planting a Cedar” was written while Hogan was living in a large city, Minneapolis. This represents a change in her working style; her earlier work was composed in a quiet environment rather than in a noisy urban one. As a result, the poem exhibits what Hogan calls “faster language” in comparison to her earlier work. This phrase, she explained, means that the flow of her words is faster, at a “clipped pace,” and that she uses more jargon and humor. The form of her poems changed as well; she explained that she will use a cliché and then “use it against itself.”

“Planting a Cedar” begins with the image of black ants, “the old dark ones/ fierce as slaves,” hurrying from underneath a stone to protect the “new white larvae/ from danger or sun.” The young larvae are “surrounded by white swaddling” through which they must eat their way to the outside world. Hogan compares these young insects pushing at walls to human children, who are “covered in so many words/ there is nothing left for them to know.” With this image, Hogan seems to be describing modern American urban culture, in which children must find their own ways through a wordy barrage of information.

The poem’s narrator then says that she “did not mean to disturb plain life/ or sit this long/ beside the stone’s country. It is late.” After being lost in the natural world, she has become aware of the passage of time and the presence of city life: men...

(The entire section is 471 words.)

Planting a Cedar Bibliography

(Masterpieces of American Literature)

Allen, Paula Gunn. The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions. Boston: Beacon Press, 1986.

Anderson, Eric Gary. “Native American Literature, Ecocriticism, and the South: The Inaccessible Worlds of Linda Hogan’s Power.” In South to a New Place: Region, Literature, Culture, edited by Suzanne W. Jones and Sharon Monteith. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2002.

Arnold, Ellen L. “Beginnings Are Everything: The Quest for Origins in Linda Hogan’s Solar Storms.” In Things of the Spirit: Women Writers Constructing Spirituality, edited by Kristina K. Groover. Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 2004.

Balassi, William, John F. Crawford, and Annie O. Eysturoy, eds. This Is About Vision: Interviews with Southwestern Writers. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1990.

Bleck, Melani. “Linda Hogan’s Tribal Imperative: Collapsing Space Through ’Living’ Tribal Traditions and Nature.” Studies in American Indian Literatures: The Journal of the Association for the Study of American Indian Literatures 11 (Winter, 1999): 23-45.

Bonetti, Kay. “Linda Hogan.” In Conversations with American Novelists: The Best Interviews from the “Missouri Review” and the American Audio Prose Library, edited by Kay Bonetti, Greg Michalson, Speer Morgan, Jo Sapp, and Sam Stowers. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1997.

Coltelli, Laura. Winged Words: American Indian Writers Speak. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990.

Cook, Barbara J., ed. From the Center of Tradition: Critical Perspectives on Linda Hogan. Boulder: University of Colorado Press, 2003.

Hegarty, Emily. “Genocide and Extinction in Linda Hogan’s Ecopoetry.” In Ecopoetry: A Critical Introduction, edited by J. Scott Bryson. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2002.

Hogan, Linda. “’A Heart Made Out of Crickets’: An Interview with Linda Hogan.” Interview by Bo Schöler. Journal of Ethnic Studies 16 (Spring, 1988): 107-117.