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The CaveGroup Annotation


, Brandon,
Abby, and Miranda 
literary devices
web links

The Last Warrior
told in 3rd person /point of view/...definitely 3rd person, but is it omniscient? some hints to the way the character feels are related, but not thoughts
The Last Warrior sounds like the end. It made me feel like it was already over before it began.

I'm pretty positive the point of view is omniscient- I think it was just a choice of the author to focus on feeling and not add specific thoughts. I think it would have been interesting to tell the story in a third person limited point of view from a character watching the warrior from a distance. It would be interesting to see how his body language changes as his personal conflict is resolved.

By W. J. Bruce
I searched online for information about the author, but couldn't find any. I wonder why?
High on bleak, stony rag,
/mood/'bleak' mood contiues with the words: 'unmoving,' 'ragged,' 'lame' 'lowered head'
cliff? this is what I picture - photos
simply google imaged 'last warrior'- thought the second pic down on this page kind of captures the mood, Anyone 'see' something completely different in mind's eye?
(like the picture) The imagery reminds me of canyons or the wide open plains of the midwest.

/definition/ of Rag:a coarsely textured rock

Unmoving, he sits astride
/definition/ of Astride: with one leg on each side
His ragged coated pony.
I wonder about the relationship between the warrior and his pony. Throughout the poem, they seem to be connected on the same journey from life at the end of a battle they lost to death, but the pony was brought into battle without choice.
Only telltale frozen breaths,
Beautiful phrase, makes this warrior seem stoic and not easily swayed.
Telltale is an interesting choice of word here. It can be defined as a "sign" which is what the warrior is looking for at one point in the poem.

Separate them from
The still, winter black boles
definition of bole, think he means tree trunks
(interesting definition) This phrase makes it sound like he is far away from the living where ever he is.
The pony and the warrior are separate from the rest of the world, and almost become one entity together.
Of ancient leafless trees.
Makes it sound like stuff around them has been dead for a while. Made me picture this:

external image The_Old_Dead_Tree_in_Winter_by_Hitomii.jpg
"ancient leafless trees" foreshadowing of what is to come for the warrior. Since he is the last warrior, his tribe will become an "ancient leafless tree" which is a /metaphor/ for planting the roots of the next generation but no longer having life "leafless".

Also, interesting that the poem separates the pony and the warrior from the "ancient leafless trees" by only "telltale frozen breaths". The /emphasis/ is placed on the word "only" indicating that other than there breaths they are undistinguishable from each other, another instance of the author /foreshadowing/ what is to come next.

The pony, blown and lame,
'pony' not 'mare' or 'horse' is important, adds to mood
(likes that you picked up the description importance too)
"Blown" is an interesting word choice, meaning "out of breath", especially since the last line indicates that the breath is their only separation from death.
Stands with lowered head,
Ears flattened to the sound
"Ears flattened to the sound" to me means that the pony is trying to ignore the inevitable by trying not to hear the impending danger.
Of a distant wolf pack.
both man and pony sense enemy and end
Both the pony and warrior know a battle and probably death is looming.
"Wolf pack" is a /symbol/ that represents death by being a /metaphor/ for the enemy that is closing in on them

I wonder if the author uses the pony as a /foil/ for the warrior, indicating the feelings of the warrior through the description of the body language of the pony.
The man on his back,
All weapons lost,
weapons=link to fallen fellows
He has lost very quickly, Eventhough he knew of an impending battle, he was still caught either off guard, or there were too many to fight off.
Ignores the trickling blood
From savage wounds,
Mingling his war paint.
/assonance/ or /diction/-? 'Ignores,' 'trickling,' and then 'mingling' all sound the we think this was done or purpose, so it is a kind of assonance, or not?
Calling his wounds savage is making a point to tell us that he made a struggle and these animals just tore him apart. Mentioning the war paint is making a point
to still make this warrior sound respectful and heroic.
Eyes burning fiercely
He strains to find
The sign he seeks:
Behind, the sound of enemy
Draws ever closer.
At last, faith rewarded,
/mood/to me, this is where the mood of the poem changes from 'bleak' and hopeless to hopeful and 'rewarding'...the 'hopeful' mood continues with the words: 'fast flowing,' 'great,' 'gamboling,' 'eternal,' 'loving,' 'clear,' 'cloudless.'
He sees far below
In the deep valley,
Arriving at the edge
hmmm...edge of the river, edge of a cliff- connection?
Sounds like he is picturing beautiful things now, because that is all he has. Sounds like he is on the edge of death, and yet still peaceful.
I don't think many people today would have that peaceful of a death.
Of the fast flowing river,
The great she bear
With two gamboling cubs:
definition of gambole
To fish the racing salmon,
<Drawn relentlessly toward
Their age-old spawning ground.>
had trouble understanding these two lines...anyone have insight?
It sounds like this is his perfection. This idea of remaining still in nature's beauty is the natives' idea of heaven. Could you imagine what
us modern americans' idea of heaven would be?? would it be ipods instead of trickling brooks??
Silently, the wounded brave
Offers his final prayer
To the eternal clan bear;
/personification/ -? giving the 'bear' "eternal" and "guardian" attributes>- the bear is not a non-living thing, but is she not already a representation of hope, determination, the saving grace of death?>Shifting, or metaphorically giving his identity as a "warrior" to a bear was probably a very noble thing to do back then. It's probably like what we would equatebeing "knighted" with.
Totem and guardian
Of his battle slain tribe.
bears=link to fallen fellows
Guardian-this warrior was highly revered.
The enemy, exultant,
the pressures of challenging monsters and temptation can mock easily
Exultant-means jubilant or triumphant, so is a lot clearer once you have the definition of any misunderstood words.
The enemy is clearly rejoicing over a fallen warrior, but the warrior is doing the respectful thing and being peaceful.
Are almost upon him,
Yet he looks not behind:
he is the 'last,' and must move forward despite his fallen comrades and family
Though there is no one around, no one to "have his back" so to speak, this warrior does not
hesitate even for a moment.
<He sees only the Great Spirit,
Surrounding him kindly
In loving, firm embrace.>
these three lines seem almost out of place in this poem, even though the mood has changed to hopeful
All of a sudden the mood changes here to peaceful, this phrase kind of belongs in a different place in the poem. Probably
back in the parts that are about the identity shift and metaphors with the bears and nature.

While the enemy closes in,
</climax/ "while" to "leaps">
This phrase is reminding us that all of this is going on in the warrior's mind while this battle grows
closer and closer.
He straightens himself;
seems as though he is proud of his fight and ready to die
Ready to face this with no fear and full of peace.
His voice rings loud and clear,
Echoing across the land
To the distant cloudless sky.
One last defiant war cry
As he spurs on his pony,
And leaps...
Into the world of his ancestors.
Dying while Honoring those who died before him
These phrase totally reminds me of every dramatic battle scene i've seen in movies. Thinking of
braveheart, gladiator, hamlet, (there are many more). This warrior's veins ran with blood for his tribe.
This totally inspired me to find some sort of image to represent this.

indian warrior image

indian warrior on horse

And i recently heard this new song by one of my favorite artists and i thought it sounded like a dramatic yet peaceful battle scene.

The Cave

Death below, but going to it in the direction of the bear and cubs (life, determination, youth, love, bearance?)

This poem as a whole can be taken literally, but to me, also has a strong tie/link and representation to any personal battle fought and won. While at times treacherous, and arriving at the end with hardly anything left and deep 'scars,' (physical or emotional), victory in some form is tangible and possible. This is fighting to the death with honor and courage at its best. But, I would also ask, is the end of this poem meant by the author to illustrate victory or defeat? I would say victory at first read...
website website out of dakota featuring this poem, kind of another 'arrangement' and look to the text...
(Image from 'Google Images' which was taken by someone on vacation and I thought seemed similar to the feeling of the cliff that the warrior may have stood upon in this poem.) is a cool video I stumbled upon while searching for videos and images related at all to the poem. It's a little far removed from the subject of the poem, and kind of long, but still cool...
website- Native American Myths
This is the myth from this website that I see ties mostly to 'The Warrior' poem in theme, even though the story is different.
When thinking about linking this poem to other texts, I think that any victory, battle, or warrior poems or quotes would be appropriate.

Trying to follow the assignment and annotation example, I did try to think of any songs I knew that this poem reminded me of, or that seemed to have the same message. However, I hit a brick wall or 'block.' (even though I know they're out there, older and modern, because this theme is not uncommon...that's what was so frustrating!) :)So, instead, I decided to look on Google (web, images, and video), and You Tube for warrior poems, victory poems, and native american poetry. It seems that Joy Harvo the late Marlon Evans are well known Native American poets...there are a couple of cool videos out there.