Explication + Ogichidag

Explication + Ogichidag - An Explication of Jim Northrups...

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An Explication of Jim Northrup’s “Ogichidag” Jim Northrup’s poem “Ogichidag” highlights the juxtaposition of the harsh realities of war with the naïve impressions of youth. This is accomplished by contrasting elements of tradition with the deteriorating views of a disillusioned man. To this disparity, the speaker’s diminishing opinion of war, his use of language and his sentence structure are all crucial. The poem begins as the speaker recounts his earliest memories of war filled with honor and optimism. He discusses his ancestors in a romantic manner, demonstrating his pride in the military tradition of his family. However, upon the poem’s completion, he is somewhat less impressed by the false nobility of war and laments his son’s similar misconceptions. From the poem’s title, which translates to “warrior,” it can be assumed that the use of foreign language is meant to enhance the idea of tradition in the speaker’s family. The language used here is Ojibway, the native tongue of his fathers before him. Initially, this use of foreign language reflects his respect for battle as he, “Memorized war stories” (line 7) and indicates his admiration of his ancestors, to whom he, “Listened as the old men told stories” (line 2). However, as his speech progresses, the tone of the narrator is shifted from its initial state. In thorough contrast to
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Explication + Ogichidag - An Explication of Jim Northrups...

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