Interpretive Essay to "Lineage"

    Lineage. Lineage means ancestry or the line of descendants of a particular person. When Margaret Walker wrote "Lineage" in 1942, I believe she intended to take her audience on a journey to the past. In this poem, she explains the olden days back to where the united states worked african americans as slaves. She expressed how strong her grandmothers were as slaves working in the fields on the plains. At the end of the peom, she writes, "Why am I not as they?" This last line explains how she yearns to be as strong-willed as her ancestors. There are 2 stanzas with 6 lines in each, 12 lines altogether. I could not find much rhythm or rhyming in this poem, but there was some rhyming in 8, 10, and 12. "Clay," "Say," and "They."   However, I did see a couple phrases involving alliteration, having the repition of vowel sounds at the beginning of the words. In line 3, it says "sowing seed." Following line 4, "grain grew." And line 5 says, "sturdiness and singing." Lastly, line 6, "rolling roughly." There is also usage of Assonance in line 9, " rolling roughly over," which uses the repition of vowel sounds wtih non-rhyming words. The last poetic device I found was imagery. In lines 2,3, and 4, Margaret Walker writes imagery of which the words appeal to the five senses and is desriptive in nature. Line 2 says, " They followed plows and bent to toil." Line 3 says, " They moved through fields sowing seed." And finally, line 4 says, " They touched earth and grain grew." This poem, is one of Walkers most spectacular and meaningful. It is now one of my favorites.