The poem's own questions, suggested by those in the painting's title, are concerned with origins, identities, and futures--of the poet and others. Finnell reflects on the plight of the characters portrayed in Gauguin's painting and imagines their thoughts and feelings about life in the world outside. Along with his ruminations on these imagined characters, Finnell visits his own family history, reflecting on the lives of earlier generations, to affirm the shared nature of each individual's origins and identities. Through his poetry, time and space, painting and history, and imagination and reality interconnect and offer an unusually imaginative, surprising work of art.
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