Today's youth, Gottfriedson says, are "afraid of themselves." He finds that both individuals and bands end in "tangles," that they write "nonsense words in the sand" or exploit images painted on rocks, those "the postmodern Indian calls / visual poetic expression." As the collection continues, however, his love for the land emerges. He draws attention to the rape of the natural environment through clear-cut logging. He speaks of the damage caused by the pine beetle, of "forests being / eaten from the inside out." And here it is that Gottfriedson introduces the mysterious Horsechild, who is to prepare the drying racks for the returning salmon "so that beneath your skin / the mountains will be forever abundant": a prayer for us to protect the migrating salmon with their multi-year cycles, to protect the bears and eagles that feast upon them, so as to assure that the transformations will continue, that there will be abundance for both humans and the earth itself.
Native Poetry in Canada: A Contemporary Anthology is the only collection of its kind. It brings together the poetry of many authors whose work has not previously been published in book form alongside that of critically-acclaimed poets, thus offering a record of Native cultural revival as it emerged through poetry from the 1960s to the present. The poets included here adapt English oratory and, above all, a sense of play. Native Poetry in Canada suggests both a history of struggle to be heard and the wealth of Native cultures in Canada today.
Bent Box is the first collection of poetry by Lee Maracle. The poems speak volumes of emotion ranging from quiet desperation to bitter anger to the depths of love. Maracle adds a rich blend of prose and poetry to her impressive list of fiction and autobiographical titles which include Bobbi Lee: Indian Rebel, I Am Woman, Ravensong, Sundogs and her latest novel, Will's Garden.