Poetry Analysis Essay on For All The Settlers Who Secretly Sing by Beth Cuthand

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The poem, For All The Settlers Who Secretly Sing, by Beth Cuthand, is a contemporary anthology that gives an effectual mix of aspects of complexities and identity of being Native in Canada. The poem revolves around the problems involving the struggle for the voice to be heard and the ecology or nature of the environment. The struggle for the voice to be heard is a key aspect dominated in the poem. Beth involves the post-modern blurring of reality and dreams so that the concerned individuals hear the cry of the community presented in the poem. The poem is about intruders who settled into the indigenous or settlers' land and denied to vacate the land for the indigenous. Settlers used different means so that the intruders could vacate the land but to no avail. The different means used by settlers suggested that there is a relationship between nature and humans. According to Beth, Human and Nature are two distinct aspects as portrayed in the poem. Analyzing the poem, For All The Settlers Who Secretly Sing will make us understand the human and nature relationship as depicted in the poem.

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Themes in Poetry: What Does Connotations Mean

The poem reflects both a vernacular and a mysterious understanding of the human and the natural world. In Beth’s poem, there is a relationship between humans and nature. For example, Beth portrays hawks and land as nature and intruders and settlers as humans. Hawk plays the role of soaring above the intruders who sat still in the land of the settlers. Besides, there is a relationship between hawks, land, and humans. Hawk is portrayed to soar above the intruders so that the land can see the hawk and speak to the intruders who fled the lands across the seas to occupy the settlers land (Armstrong & Grauer, p. 133). Beth has personified land since humans are the only being that has the ability to speak. In Beth’s poem, the land has been personified so as to speak to the intruders, thus creating a relationship between human and nature, and nature here has been depicted as land. Moreover, Beth portrayed a relationship between land or nature and humans. Settlers had no means to vacate the intruders. However, they had to have faith waiting to listen to the heartbeat of the land (Armstrong & Grauer, p. 134). In this case, Beth is connecting land or nature and humans by giving the land the ability to breathe, thus making humans and nature have a relationship in the poem.

Usually, humans need to interact with nature. Humans promote ecological intelligence with the environment. Humans have the ability to choose whether to exploit or not to exploit the environment. Humans understand the values of being involved with the nature they choose to exploit or not to exploit. However, the claims of humans freely interacting with nature are different as portrayed in the poem. According to the poem, there exists antagonism between nature and humans. Beth claims that nature and the human soul are in a state of rivalry. Humans are struggling to intrude into the available space of nature. The settlers are frightened by the behavior of intruders who intrude into their land.

Also, Beth claims that settlers experience dreams of drums with voices penetrating in the night sky (Armstrong & Grauer, p. 133). Drums have been depicted as nature, and the role of drums is to communicate the message from the settlers to the intruders. From the perspective of the drum, we can understand that there is a relationship between nature and humans. Nature can be used to communicate different messages to be conveyed to human beings. For this poem, the drums were communicating messages to the intruders who came to occupy settlers' land, and they are not willing to leave the land to the settlers.

Furthermore, Beth asserts that there is a relationship between humans and nature since the land depicted in the poem could understand that settlers belong to the land. And then she knows sister/brother, that you belong here too (Armstrong & Grauer, p. 134). According to the quote, Beth communicates to the readers that there is a relationship between nature and humans since nature could listen to the songs of the settlers and later communicate to settlers that they belong to the land.


In conclusion, the poem communicates to the readers that there is a relationship between nature and humans. Humans can use nature to communicate their views. Also, nature can listen to the views of the human and respond back. Beth used humans and nature to tell the readers that there is a possibility of nature and humans to share some relationships. In her poem, land, hawk, and human are the key characters used to communicate different aspects of humans and nature. Beth depicted land and hawks and nature but settlers and intruders as human. The two aspects shared different relationships so as to convey different messages to the readers.

Work Cited

Armstrong J. & Grauer L (Ed). Native Poetry in Canada: A Contemporary Anthology;

For All The Settlers Who Secretly Sing. Broadview Press. Pg. 133-134. 2001. Print. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=95iZQ6tPyLwC&pg=PT163&dq=%E2%80%9C#v=onepage&q&f=false

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