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Word Count: 843
Legacies and Heritage Nikki Giovanni and Linda Hogan both wrote poems in the 1970s about their grandmothers that seem totally different to the unaware reader In actuality they are very similar These two poems Legacies and Heritage express the poets value of knowledge passed down from grandmother to granddaughter from generation to generation Even though the poems are composed and read very differently the underlying message conveyed is the same and each are valid first-hand accounts of legacies and heritages While Giovannis Legacies is only about the grandmother Hogans Heritage describes in addition to the grandmothers and her advice the advice and appearances of other family members Despite this the grandmother remains the focus In Giovannis poem the grandmother needs no introduction or background given for her In Heritage however the mention of the other family members seems to set the stage for Hogans mystical grandmother Linda Hogan is a woman of mixed background she is part Chickasaw Indian and part Caucasian This seems to cause Hogan doubts about herself This is illustrated in the line It was the brown stain that covered my shirt my whiteness a shame Hogan 243 These doubts could possibly be the same dilemma that haunted Sylvia Plath Plath also had a conflict in her background her father was a Nazi and her mother was part Jewish Hogan may feel a similar pain because in antiquity the whites new to this continent exploited and killed Indians She probably feels self-loathing in response to being around her Indian relatives due to her white background Giovanni does not feel any internal conflict concerning her heritage but she is conflicted when her grandmother asks for her company Because even though the older woman asks the girl to learn from her all she wants in reality is the company of youth and time to spend with her granddaughter In Legacies we are shown what the granddaughter is thinking
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