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Eskimo Poems from Canada and Greenland

January 8, 2010

Eskimo Poems from Canada and Greenland – Translated by Tom Lowenstein

All of the books I have posted so far have been topical or relatively current books.  Those aren’t my specialty though.  Most of my books are folk tales, children’s books and poetry so my next few posts will likely reflect those interests.  This book is one of the few books I’ve seen of Eskimo poetry.  The poems are divided into chapters of “Songs of Mood”, “Hunting Songs”, “Songs of Derision”, and “Charms”.  Printed by the University of Pittsburg Press in 1973.

Buy this book from me on Alibris.

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One comment

  1. You have featured one of my favorite books ever from the Pitt Poetry Series! Truly, you are doing a service to introduce people to it.

    For instance, here is a poem from the book by “Kingmerut” (Copper Eskimo man, Ellis River, Queen Maud’s Sea):

    Hunger

    Fear hung over me.
    I dared not try
    to hold out in my hut.

    Hungry and chilled,
    I stumbled inland,
    tripping, falling constantly.

    At Little Musk Ox Lake
    the trout made fun of me;
    they wouldn’t bite.

    On I crawled,
    and reached the Young Man’s River
    where I caught salmon once.

    I prayed
    for fish or reindeer
    swimming in the lake.

    My thought
    reeled into nothingness
    like run-out fishing-line.

    Would I ever find firm ground?
    I staggered on,
    muttering spells as I went.

    If you’ve ever wondered about what Octavio Paz once called “the dark, forgotten marvel of being alive,” you owe it to yourself to buy this book.



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