"Song of the Sky Loom" Sample Explication

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O our Mother the Earth, O our Father

      the Sky,

Your children are we, and with tired


We bring you the gifts you love.
Then weave for us a garment of brightness;

May the warp be the white light of morning,

May the weft be the red light of evening,

May the fringes be the falling rain,

May the border be the standing rainbow.

Thus weave for us a garment of brightness

That we may walk fittingly where birds


That we may walk fittingly where grass

      is green,

O our Mother the Earth, O our Father the Sky!



     “Song of the Sky Loom” is a poem, not a work of prose, and it explains how members of the Tewa tribe are receiving gifts from nature.  These lines show their respect for nature. Showing their respect for nature is a characteristic of Native American literature: “O our Mother the Earth, O our Father/ the Sky…”.  The speakers are Native Americans.  They respect nature as much or more than their own loved members of their family. The poet uses an extended metaphor to get across his meaning. The sky is a loom, but instead of holding thread, it holds the sun which makes light.  The light makes a “garment of brightness.” The metaphor is an extended one because the light makes up the cloth, the rain makes the fringe, and the border is the rainbow.  This shows that nature gives light and water for growing food.  It gives the rainbow for beauty and hope.  This shows that nature is like parents who love and care for their children. The syntax is not ordinary because the word order is reversed. Instead of saying, “We are your children.”  The poet says, “Your children are we.”  This gives the poem a more formal feeling, a feeling of prayer.  Also, the poem has the characteristic of oral literature.  It has memorable repetition.  The word “May” is repeated many times.  Also, the poem begins and ends with the same words.  Clearly, “Song of the Sky Loom” is a beautiful poem that is important because it shows the Native American respect for nature and uses many poetic techniques to let readers see a “garment of brightness.”