VILLAGE BOY: POEMS OF CULTURAL IDENTITY -- a Tlingit poet writes beautifully of cultural loss and one man's struggle for cultural identity
Village Boy: Poems of Cultural Identity by Robert Davis Hoffmann (2014, Create Space; 43 pages)
Robert Davis Hoffmann is a Tlingit poet and carver from the Tlingit Indian village of Kake, southeast Alaska. His sources behind his poetry and his carving are described as a desire to create to be able to connect his past to his present. This desire is stated in one of his incredibly powerful poems, titled Saginaw Bay. The core of Mr. Hoffmann is to create new forms out of the old, becoming a bridge between the past and the present, and he does so in the twelve poems that form this extraordinary book.
Village Boy opens with the poem Raven Moves, a piece of writing that honors the Raven: "If I make words, they are Raven's echo." These are truly poems of cultural identity. Reading Village Boy one receives an extraordinary lesson in understanding the powerful identity of the Tlingit people. In the poem Reconstruction, the author shares the following:
"I thought my life was in layers
like a complex Chilkat blanket's warp and wefts;
foreground, background; the Native, the not-Native.”
The book ends with another powerful statement in the form of a poem, a piece named Black Buoy that closes with a question carried by every other question about cultural identity.
A must read. Astonishing beautiful.
Find this title in our catalog: Village Boy
Recommended by: Maite