Dirt Road Home

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

French/Canadian/Native poet Cheryl Savageau's poems tell of poverty, mixed ancestry and alliances, and strong family ties in a sweep of visions which trace both the progress of her life and influences and those of her family and friends. Lyrical, personal free verse. -- Midwest Book Review
Library Journal
Savageau is of Abenaki Indian and French Acadian ancestry, and her poems explore the multistranded tensions of growing up poor in a family of mixed heritage. From her father, the poet inherited a love of nature, especially the primeval landscape of New England, which has been all but erased by industrial blight and urbanization. Her poems about birds, trees, and landscapes sing with a sensuous appreciation of the natural world. Other poems pay affectionate tribute to members of Savageau's extended family, who, though burdened by poverty and ethnicity, survive, for the most part, with spirit and dignity. Savageau has a storyteller's gift and an imagist's eye; her language is clean and sure: "my mother, red-haired,/who lived with my father/forty years.../watches the feathered dancers/and says, so that's/what real Indians look like./I wrap the shawl around my shoulders,/and join the circle." The hard truths out of which these poems spring are tempered by a magnanimous spirit and an acceptance of life's complexities. Recommended for contemporary poetry collections.-Christine Stenstrom, Brooklyn P.L.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781880684306
  • Publisher: Northwestern University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/1995
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 78
  • Sales rank: 1,025,215
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Joseph Bruchac 7
Henri Toussaints 13
Grandmother 15
Trees 17
Looking For Indians 19
Ol'Crazy Baker 21
At the Fireworks 23
Gifts 24
Just His Eyes 25
What The Boy Said 27
At the A & W 28
Thorns 30
Harsh Words 33
Glissando 36
French Girls Are Fast 37
Card Shark 39
Barbie 40
Like A Good Joke: Grandma At Ninety 42
Leah 44
First Grade - Standing In the Hall 46
Hanging Clothes In the Sun 47
At Fifteen, Louise Kills Chickens 49
Logic Problem 51
Department of Labor Haiku 53
Why They Do It 54
Bride 55
Infant of Prague 56
Creche 57
The Sound of My Mother Singing 58
What I Save 61
Equinox: The Goldfinch 62
Trickery: a May Poem 63
Summer Solstice 65
Bones - A City Poem 67
Blessings 69
The Sweet and Vinegary Taste 71
Too'kay 73
After Hours 74
Comes Down Like Milk 76
Night 77
Menora 78
Mother Night: Full Moon Past Solstice 79
Genealogy 80
Roseanna 81
After Listening to a Reading of Romantic Poems About Columbus: One More Thought 82
Survival 83
Medicine Woman 85
To Human Skin 87
At the Pow Wow 89
Like the Trails of Ndakinna 90
All Night She Dreams 92
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