Shaman's Circle: Poems

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Life is a series of circles. From seed, to blossom, to ripe fruit, and finally to decay, we yearly watch nature trace the cycle that encompasses all living things, including ourselves. All over the world, people have created rituals to mark the great changes in their lives that this journey brings. For the Pueblo Indians of the Southwest, the world revolves around ritual. Their lives are steeped in ceremonies centered on the seasons. Most of us today are out of touch with the subtle rhythms of the earth and the ...
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Overview

Life is a series of circles. From seed, to blossom, to ripe fruit, and finally to decay, we yearly watch nature trace the cycle that encompasses all living things, including ourselves. All over the world, people have created rituals to mark the great changes in their lives that this journey brings. For the Pueblo Indians of the Southwest, the world revolves around ritual. Their lives are steeped in ceremonies centered on the seasons. Most of us today are out of touch with the subtle rhythms of the earth and the daily blessings of the natural world. In these poems, Nancy Wood offers us a path to renew our connection to nature, and to one another. Frank Howell's mesmerizing paintings present a vision of the beauty and spiritual richness found in the shaman's sacred circle.

Poetry and paintings follow the cycles of nature and human life as seen through the traditional beliefs and rituals of the Taos Indians of the American Southwest.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
From the same team that produced Spirit Walker and Dancing Moons, Shaman's Circle by Nancy Wood, illus. by Frank Howell, takes its inspiration from the lives and cosmology of the Pueblo Indians to meditate upon our connections to nature. A typically wordy and didactic stanza reads, "Daylight is nighttime's other face, the one that preceded/ creation and formed a universal vision long before/ human eyes recognized the lessons of leaves and lions." Mystical paintings-e.g., of heads floating in cosmic space-complete the New Age-ish appeal.
School Library Journal
Gr 7 UpThe title poem of Wood's latest collection announces its theme: "...The shaman's circle is a fiery wheel/ Of opposites necessary for the world to keep on/turning..." The poems celebrate and commemorate sacred moments in life (birth, marriage, death, beginnings and endings) and the peoplefamily, elders, and otherswho give meaning to our existence. Opposites are named or implied: the old ways and the new, grief and love, summer and winter, wisdom and follyfrom their tension comes the power of the turning wheel. Many selections have the feel of ritual prayer or recitation, or the quieter air of meditation. They are all serious, but not somber; even poems about aging or death focus on the gifts that endure, especially love. Howell's realistic, expressive style will be familiar to fans of Wood's Spirit Walker (1993), Dancing Moons (1995), and Many Winters (1974, all Doubleday). The artist's mystical portraits of Native Americans combine the timeless, mythic, and universal with the particular personality of each individual. In keeping with the wisdom revealed in the text, the subjects' fine wrinkles, white-threaded hair, and grave demeanor suggest that experience is their teacher. Wood's words are rooted in Taos Pueblo, but the pictures incorporate allusions to the Teton and Dakotas as well. This volume is well up to the standards of the collaborators' previous prize-winners.Patricia (Dooley) Lothrop Green, St. George's School, Newport, RI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385322225
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 9/1/1996
  • Pages: 80
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.55 (w) x 10.59 (h) x 0.49 (d)

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