Patrick Lane, “Cariboo Winter” and “Elephants”

  1. What factors are usually taken into consideration in planning the route of a highway? Do you think the highway would have been rerouted if the engineers who planned it had known about the Indian graveyard? Was the graveyard destroyed deliberately or did it just happen to be in the way?
  2. The highway is a part of white culture; the graveyard a part of Indian culture. Does the effect of the highway on the graveyard suggest something about the impact of white culture on that of the Indian? What aspect of each culture do you think the graveyard and the highway might symbolically represent?
  3. Compare Lane’s “Cariboo Winter” with Bowering’s “Mud Time.” Note the similarities in content and in form. What sensory impressions does Bowering use to create his atmosphere? How do these differ from the sensory impressions in Lane’s poem?