Published on September 23, 2012 by Carol
Author: Cheryl Savageau
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Savageau is of Abenaki Indian and French Acadian ancestry, and her poems explore the multistranded tensions of growing up poor in a family of mixed heritage. From her father, the poet inherited a love of nature, especially the primeval landscape of New England, which has been all but erased by industrial blight and urbanization. Her poems about birds, trees, and landscapes sing with a sensuous appreciation of the natural world. Other poems pay affectionate tribute to members of Savageau’s extended family, who, though burdened by poverty and ethnicity, survive, for the most part, with spirit and dignity. Savageau has a storyteller’s gift and an imagist’s eye; her language is clean and sure: “my mother, red-haired, who lived with my father forty years…watches the feathered dancers and says, so that’s what real Indians look like. I wrap the shawl around my shoulders, and join the circle.” The hard truths out of which these poems spring are tempered by a magnanimous spirit and an acceptance of life’s complexities. Recommended for contemporary poetry collections. Christine Stenstrom, Brooklyn P.L.
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