N. Scott Momaday’s poem “Earth and I Gave You Turquoise” is an elegy consisting of five sestet stanzas. In this poem, the speaker pays tribute to a deceased love and makes plans to join her in the afterlife. The first stanza establishes the relationship between the speaker, “I,” and the subject, “you.” Written in the past tense, the opening lines of the poem tell the reader that the happy life experienced by the speaker and the subject ended when the subject became ill. The reader infers that the subject died after becoming “ill when the owl cried.” The first stanza reveals the speaker’s plans to join his loved one on Black Mountain, most likely her final resting place, the entrance point into the afterlife.
In stanza 2, the reader learns what will happen when the speaker and subject reunite in the next life. Each with a specific role, they will make a new life together. The speaker “will bring corn for planting,” and together they will make a fire, signifying that once again they will have a home. In discussing their new life together, Momaday expands the feminine companion role of the subject in healing the speaker’s heart to a maternal one, with children coming to her breast. Attesting to his love for her, the speaker tells his love that not only does he remember her but also does nature, as exemplified by “the wild cane.”
The third stanza shifts the setting to the speaker’s brother’s house, the scene of...
(The entire section is 483 words.)