Marnie Walsh

Introduction By

John Milton

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As an outdoorswoman, an observer of hunters, Indians, creatures of nature, and the things of earth, Marnie Walsh seems to have been most impressed by the grimness of life. The sordid and the brutal, in both man and nature, enter her poems with more force and more power than do the lyrical elements of a very few of her poems. Most of these poems, especially in their observations of Indians, are character sketches with a persistent similarity. Their strength derives from accumulated evidence, from repetition which is much like the pounding of a drum. One beat is hardly distinguishable from another, but this sameness is an important part of her observations and implied interpretations. Especially in the sketches of Indians, where it is impossible to let the futility and the monotony of reservation life pass by unnoticed, the regularity of theme and technique operates like a wacipi drum, pounding its way into the reader’s sensibilities.