Tuesday, December 27, 2016

KIPOCIHKAN

Gregory Scofield. Kipocihkan: Poems New & Selected. Nightwood, 2009.



This, Kipocihkan: Poems New & Selected, is the third Scofield volume on my shelves, after The Gathering: Stones For the Medicine Wheel (1993) and Louis: The Heretic Poems (2011).

The problem I have with Kipocihkan is my own reading disability. When I read, I say/hear the words in my head. When I am confronted with words I cannot say/hear, I cannot read. Very frustrating. The translations do help, but I found myself skipping the Cree words and heading straight for the translation. Not what a poet would want from a reader, I am sure. And I do understand the reason for including the first, or the lost language. The politics. Identity politics. Like they say in Ireland: "Our language. It's part of who we are."


I especially like Scofield's erotic poems, and the way gender plays such an insignificant role in his descriptions of revelling in sexual activity. Possibly too eroticism is one of those shared pleasures, whereas the anger, the alcohol, the abandonment are also known, recognized as shared experience, yet not a place I choose to stay. I too, I the reader, have my own blanket, and "I am in charge here." (from "This Is My Blanket," p. 143)

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