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The Sky Watched: Poems of Ojibwe Lives
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Red Mountain Press
Pub Date: 2016
ISBN: 9780990804772
Linda LeGarde Grover
The Sky Watched: Poems of Ojibwe Lives
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The Sky Watched: Poems of Ojibwe Lives

by Linda LeGarde Grover

The Sky Watched is a collection of poetry some bilingual that tells the collective story of a Minnesota Ojibwe family against the backdrop of history that begins with creation and continues to this day. Through poetry, Linda LeGarde Grover contributes to the continuation of Ojibwe worldview and survival in the recounting of history and family stories. In The Sky Watched, the voices of children, adults and elders, of Indian boarding school students and traditional tribal storytellers, and of the Manidoog, the unseen beings who surround our lives every day are given voice in a manifestation of the Ojibwe oral tradition teachings on the written page.

"This is the first bilingual poetry book in English/Ojibwe. Not translations but poems using both languages. Linda LeGarde Grover's The Sky Watched is a poetic reaction, in a wonderfully realistic voice, of spirit and essence of the Ojibwe people. Read it and be transformed, as readers of Beowulf and El Cid and other national epics have been throughout the ages." Geary Hobson

"The Sky Watched bears witness to native experience. In Grover's work, time runs backwards through Ojibwe creation myths and explanation tales to find strength for the later years of boarding school and all the upheavals of the new world. Family plays a major role as does the roundness of moon, owl nest, gratitude, and the 'grace of this merciful earth.' There is heaven and hell in these heavenly poems." Diane Glancy

"Remember, remember, remember, Linda Grove's wonderful book demands. And she does. Again and again. Old tales from the Ojibwe tradition and new stories from mission schools and relocations where 'a tangle of children smell home in their dreams.' She captures the taste of recipes and the feel of beading bracelets alongside injustices minor as a navy bean and major as a lost language. These are poems as sad and essential as field of cotton flowers. You will remember them." Jeffrey Thompson,

"Linda LeGarde Grover tells of a calico flowered beanbag that when 'split it spilled the past, ' just as her poems spill extraordinary perceptions infused with Ojibwe spirituality along with haunting insight of raw boarding school memories that house a continent of pain and despair. The Sky Watched is an intuitive voice of reverence that understands the power of the spirit." Denise Lajimodiere

"Linda Grover's The Sky Watched is a beautiful litany of poems about Anishinaabe lives. She weaves English and Anishinaabemowin in lovely and innovative ways, and what is left at the end of the collection is a heartbreaking symphony full of many voices, all coming together with their own sorrowing but merciful hands. ''I hate when this happens, ' Richard says... spare(ing) us the sight of what was necessary, mercifully and quickly tightening the wire with his kind and sorrowing hands." Erika Wurth

"The Sky Watched is a book of and for community. It is a book of witness. It testifies to survivance as, according to its last lines, 'a continuing song / since long before the memory of mortals.'" Kenyon Review