Publication Date: 01-Apr-05 | ISBN: 1844710602 | Trim Size: 216 x 140 mm | Extent: 120pp | Format: Paperback
UK Distribution: | USA Distribution: | Publishing Status: Active
SHORTLISTED FOR THE MINNESOTA BOOK AWARDS 2006. Poems in The Mother’s Tongue move in images of the living world that include plants and creatures both native and non-native to American landscapes. These poems move via persona and personal lyric through expressions of ambivalence about choosing the life of the body – of womanhood and motherhood – through the strange realm of pregnancy into the netherworld of the post-partum period and out into the world again, into the enlarged world, the world at war, the world of work and words. Finally these poems move to enter the world of women as transformed within the love of language – of recovered Ojibwe language and English renewed as first language in the mouths of infants. These are poems that urge women to discover the power of their own tongues as they teach speech – the sweet, salty, sour and bitter desires – the taste on the mother’s tongue.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Offering: Words; 1 Honey Sweet; Craving Honey; The Way To; She Dances; The Hive Improvisation; Weeds in Grief; Intimate Detail; The Way To Have No Child; Stung; The Way To Be Convinced; This Body, The River; Neon Lovers, Another Painting; For Her Sake; The Red Toad; Oyster Mother; Amazon Huntress Gives Birth to Twins; With Honey from the Rock Would I Satisfy You; Woman’s Work; Pica; The Deep; 2 Salt Lick; Craving, First Month; Offering: The Child; When I Go Down to Pray; Kookum; First Rice; Idol Construction; The Girl in Geography Class; Advice; The Bee Kept Wife; Cat Woman; Parade of Old Loves; What Pregnant is Like; Young Poets with Roman Noses; Wedding Blessing; Nesting Dolls; Craving, Seventh Month; Another Touch; 3 Milk Sour ; Offering: The Breasts; Craving Release; Sisters Stay On the Other Side; Image; After Image; After Birth; Postpartum I; Postpartum II; Postpartum III; Postpartum IV; Postpartum V; New Born; Look; Breasts; Twelve Items or Less, 1999; Popular Parenting; 4 Bitter Root; Offering: Ojibwe; Craving: Bitter Root; Twin Bugs; Vermillion Hands Petroglyph; Our Words Are Not Our Own; Poem for Our Ojibwe Names; They All Dream the Lake, Again; In the Belly; Mother of Sorrows; Summer of Infanticides; Last Snow; Changeling; Elemental Conception; Maternal Desire; 1 a.m. Turtle Pool; Remedy; Wiisah kote: The Burnt Wood People; Mindimoyeg: Dandelions; Old Man’s Tale; Basswood; Husbandry; The Good Woman; The Only Child; Motherhood as First Language
PRAISE FOR THIS BOOK
“Funny sexy, rowdy, and surprising, these poems pretty much cover the entire human existence, but I especially like the poems about the Honey-bun delivery vans, post-partum blues, and justified hatred of wind-up toy makers. How can you not love a hate poem about wind-up toy makers? What kind of crazy person writes a hate poem about wind-up toy makers? Heid is exactly that kind of poet. She is original. Buy this book now.” —
“With The Mother's Tongue Heid Erdrich has come into her creative power. The poems are a powerful treatise on the transformative state of mothering. These lines at the heart of the collection will haunt anyone who has held a son in her arms in rough political times:
“I have fed my son on sorrow,/I have made him food for war.”” —
“Heid’s poetry is a perfect fusion of music and painting, power and subtlety, emotion and intelligence. She takes us to a new world. ” —
Heid E. Erdrich, author of Fishing for Myth poems from New Rivers Press and co-editor of Sister Nations anthology from the Minnesota Historical Society Press, has won awards from The Loft Literary Center, Minnesota State Arts Board, Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers, and the Archibald Bush Foundation. She founded Birchbark Books Press with her sister, author Louise Erdrich. Her degrees are from Dartmouth College and Johns Hopkins University. A member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibway, she was raised in Wahpeton, North Dakota where her parents taught at the Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school. She teaches at The University of St. Thomas.