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The Secret Powers of Naming

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4.25  ·  Rating Details ·  20 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
Sara Littlecrow-Russell’s style emerges from the ancient and sacred tradition of storytelling, where legends were told not just to entertain, but to teach and, if necessary, to discipline. The power of the storyteller is the power of naming, to establish a relationship, a connection, and a sense of meaning. A name is both a bequest and a burden. Each of the poems in this c ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published September 28th 2006 by University of Arizona Press
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Gwen
Apr 02, 2009 Gwen rated it really liked it
I don't read poetry very often, but this was a short volume so I decided to give it a try, and I'm glad I did. Littlecrow-Russell is a member of the Ojibwe tribe and a lot, though not all, of her poetry deals with racial/ethnic identity, the frustration of dealing with wannabe Indians and Whites' romanticized views of the noble Indian, and the pain caused by economic isolation, alcoholism, and grinding poverty in many Indian communities--and the contradictions that arise when you're a smart, int ...more
April
May 02, 2008 April rated it really liked it
I found this book doing something I seldom do thanks to the Internet - randomly browsing library shelves. Instead of telling you why I loved it, I will give you a taste of her poetry:

"English Only"

In a wrinkled voice,
Delicate as antique deerskin,
He names things into the ear
Of his dark-eyed granddaughter.

Ancient words slip from his tongue
Smooth as of desert sand
Until the child stamps her feet:

"Speak English Grandpa!"

His sudden silence
Wraps around them
Like a diseased trade blanket.
Maughn Gregory
Jan 25, 2014 Maughn Gregory rated it it was amazing
Magnificent, harrowing, magnificent!
Soo Na
May 28, 2008 Soo Na rated it it was amazing
Written with clarity, groundedness, and a terse poeticism. Water to my desert. A quick read through is not enough. I read this collection of poems in one day, but will definitely be reading them again. I love good poetry. I love this poetry.
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