Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Shirley Clay Scott

Second Advisor

Dr. William Olsen


The poems in this collection reflect Cardiff's bi-cultural Native American and Euro-American inheritance. The book title comes from a sixteenth century chronicle in which the native peoples of the Americas are seen as "simple gentiles" living under the "lawe of nature " . These narrative poems refute the Eurocentric notion that American Indians can be likened to a "bare table" or "a blank sheet of paper to be written upon ". The poem s celebrate her Indian heritage and also engage allusively with Western and Asian tradition s and conventions. Sometimes edgy, sometimes honorific, the juxtaposition of traditions in these poems is characterized b y integrative acts of consciousness an d lyric imagination. Cardiff's investigation of her role as an active observer of place, human nature, and artistic work is a major theme.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Poetry Commons