Bear Bones & Feathers
by Louise Halfe
Cree poet Louise Bernice Halfe sets out to heal the past using Native symbolism and history, the memories of her childhood on the reserve, and her own dark brand of humour.
First Nations Cree writer Louise Bernice Halfe sets out to heal the past in this powerful first book of poetry.
Among her healing arts are Native symbolism and history, the memories of her childhood on the reserve, and her own dark brand of humour. Like Tomson Highway and Thomas King, Halfe is actively involved in reclaiming the long overlooked Native comedic tradition.
Her poems about the erosion of old ways, the terrors of residential school and how the pain inflicted by alcoholism abound with satiric portraits and shared jokes, yet pierce the heart with their truthfulness. Her angriest poems, infused with dark humour, are written in a Cree-inflected English she calls her "grassroots tongue." It is with this voice that she comes to terms with the legacy of Catholicism in the moving poems "ten hail mary's" and "dear poop."