Catawba: Omens, Prayers & Songs – by A. Poulin, Jr.
Footnotes / Endnotes: No
Suitable for eReaders: Yes
This is a small book of poems published in 1977 by The Graywolf Press, Port Townsend, Washington. It is, unfortunately, out of print, but there are used copies to be found, and they are worth the effort to find.
In his prefatory note, Voice of a Language That Is Gone, Mr. Poulin wrote, "These are neither translations nor workings of original poems. Rather, I look upon them as "given poems" written while I was reading Frank G. Speck's Catawba Texts (Columbia University Press, 1934; A MS Press, Inc., 1969.)"
When I first heard of this book, I despaired of ever finding a copy, and when I did find it, I was thrilled beyond measure, for I am part Catawba, and this book has brought my people and me closer together.
One of my favorites is Melon Patch. I think it, or the poem opposite, was the favorite of the person who owned it before me, for the book opened to that page when I unwrapped it. If you enjoy poetry and Native American culture, look for this book.
the land was good
I planted a melon patch
I drove sticks all around it
someone came to steal my melons
all my sticks turned into snakes