What is the symbolism in the poem "The Legend"?

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In Garrett Hongo's "The Legend " there are several symbols. Since the poem starts with a man having just done his laundry, start there. Laundry has been associated stereotypically with the Chinese, who were said to have done many other people's laundry. To do one's own laundry is...

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In Garrett Hongo's "The Legend" there are several symbols. Since the poem starts with a man having just done his laundry, start there. Laundry has been associated stereotypically with the Chinese, who were said to have done many other people's laundry. To do one's own laundry is to be engaged in self-determination, but also to be poor.

 

The laundry is clean and white, like the snow. Both should be new beginnings; both are stained or ruined by the killing.

 

The weaver girl is a Chinese myth, related to a constellation. She is obsessively concerned with her weaving, which maintains cosmic order. In some stories, she also crossed a bridge between the realm of the mortals and the realm of the divine; that's what is referred to in the final lines.

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