9780060935344

Original Fire : Selected and New Poems

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780060935344

  • ISBN10:

    0060935340

  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 3/1/2010
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publications

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Supplemental Materials

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  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.
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Summary

In this important new collection, her first in fourteen years, award-winning author Louise Erdrich has selected poems from her two previous books of poetry, Jacklight and Baptism of Desire , and has added nineteen new poems to compose Original Fire .

Table of Contents

Jacklight
Jacklight
3(3)
The Woods
6(1)
The Strange People
7(2)
Captivity
9(3)
Owls
12(2)
I Was Sleeping Where the Black Oaks Move
14(2)
Family Reunion
16(3)
Indian Boarding School: The Runaways
19(2)
Dear John Wayne
21(2)
Manitoulin Ghost
23(2)
Three Sisters
25(2)
The Lefavor Girls
27(2)
Walking in the Breakdown Lane
29(1)
The Red Sleep of Beasts
30(5)
The Potchikoo Stories
The Birth of Potchikoo
35(1)
Potchikoo Marries
36(1)
How Potchikoo Got Old
37(2)
The Death of Potchikoo
39(2)
Potchikoo's Life After Death
41(1)
How They Don't Let Potchikoo into Heaven
41(1)
Where Potchikoo Goes Next
42(2)
Potchikoo's Detour
44(1)
Potchikoo Greets Josette
45(1)
Potchikoo Restored
46(1)
Potchikoo's Mean Twin
47(2)
How Josette Takes Care of It
49(1)
Saint Potchikoo
50(5)
The Butcher's Wife
The Butcher's Wife
55(2)
That Pull from the Left
57(2)
The Carmelites
59(1)
Clouds
60(4)
Shelter
64(3)
The Slow Sting of Her Company
67(2)
Here Is a Good Word for Step-and-a-Half Waleski
69(2)
Portrait of the Town Leonard
71(2)
Leonard Commits Redeeming Adulteries with All the Women in Town
73(2)
Unexpected Dangers
75(2)
My Name Repeated on the Lips of the Dead
77(3)
A Mother's Hell
80(2)
Rudy Comes Back
82(2)
New Vows
84(3)
The Seven Sleepers
Fooling God
87(2)
The Sacraments
89(8)
The Seven Sleepers
97(10)
Avila
107(2)
Saint Clare
109(7)
Mary Magdalene
116(1)
Christ's Twin
117(2)
Orozco's Christ
119(1)
The Savior
120(2)
The Buffalo Prayer
122(1)
Rez Litany
123(6)
Original Fire
The Fence
129(2)
Ninth Month
131(1)
Birth
132(1)
New Mother
133(2)
Sorrows of the Frog Woman
135(5)
Time
140(1)
Spring Evening on Blind Mountain
141(1)
Blue
142(1)
Thistles
143(1)
Best Friends in the First Grade
144(1)
Little Blue Eyeglasses
145(1)
Grief
146(1)
Wood Mountain
147(2)
Advice to Myself
149(2)
Morning Fire
151(2)
Asiniig
153

Excerpts

Original Fire
Selected and New Poems

Jacklight

The same Chippewa word is used both for flirting and hunting game, while another Chippewa word connotes both using force in intercourse and also killing a bear with one's bare hands.

—R. W. Dunning, Social and Economic Change Among the Northern Ojibwa (1959)

We have come to the edge of the woods,
out of brown grass where we slept, unseen,
out of knotted twigs, out of leaves creaked shut,
out of hiding.

At first the light wavered, glancing over us.
Then it clenched to a fist of light that pointed,
searched out, divided us.
Each took the beams like direct blows the heart answers.
Each of us moved forward alone.

We have come to the edge of the woods,
drawn out of ourselves by this night sun,
this battery of polarized acids,
that outshines the moon.

We smell them behind it
but they are faceless, invisible.
We smell the raw steel of their gun barrels,
mink oil on leather, their tongues of sour barley.
We smell their mothers buried chin-deep in wet dirt.
We smell their fathers with scoured knuckles,
teeth cracked from hot marrow.
We smell their sisters of crushed dogwood, bruised apples,
of fractured cups and concussions of burnt hooks.

We smell their breath steaming lightly behind the jacklight.
We smell the itch underneath the caked guts on their clothes.
We smell their minds like silver hammers
cocked back, held in readiness
for the first of us to step into the open.

We have come to the edge of the woods,
out of brown grass where we slept, unseen,
out of leaves creaked shut, out of hiding.
We have come here too long.

It is their turn now,
their turn to follow us. Listen,
they put down their equipment.
It is useless in the tall brush.

Original Fire
Selected and New Poems
. Copyright © by Louise Erdrich. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Excerpted from Original Fire: Selected and New Poems by Louise Erdrich
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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