Study Guide

Windigo Stanza 3

By Louise Erdrich

Stanza 3

Lines 11-15

The sumac pushed sour red cones through the air.
Copper burned in the raw wood.
You saw me drag toward you.
Oh touch me, I murmured, and licked the soles of your feet.
You dug your hands into my pale, melting fur.

  • Rhythmically, this stanza is a little different from the previous two, featuring five lines that are completely end-stopped with periods. These short, blunt lines let us linger and reflect on each image.
  • Let's take a look at a couple of those, shall we?
  • In this stanza in particular, Erdrich's imagery comes in vivid colors, from the blood red of the sumac and the copper of the wood, to the pale fur of the Windigo—"sour," and metallic brownish-reds juxtaposed with the Windigo's pale fur. 
  • The description of the Windigo as "dragging" towards the child invokes the feral insanity of a possessed creature, something that's half rabid beast, half twisted man. 
  • The actions of the Windigo in line 14 seem almost sensual, rather than violent. It seems the Windigo longs for the physical contact of the child. This complicates our notion of it as just a scary ice monster. 
  • Apparently, the Windigo has fur—like a wolf or a bear—and is about as charming as Boris Karloff; you could say he's a bit lupine, a bit ursine, and a bit Frankenstein. (See what we did there?)

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