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title

Dragonfly Dance

Denise K. Lajimodiere

Publication Year: 2010

Dragonfly Dance is a collection of poems remarkable for their candor and sense of catharsis. Writing from the vantage point of an American Indian women, Denise Lajimodiere opens a door into the lives of Native girls and women. Her poems often reflect the deep tensions between Native culture and white culture.
     Reflected in Lajimodiere's poems, life is sometimes beautiful but rarely easy. "The Necklace," the narrator details how her mother repaired a favorite beaded necklace, "her arthritic fingers patiently / threading beads / on the long thin needle, weaving / night after night." When the necklace is finally repaired, she wears it to school where

At recess a White boy
ran by, yanked
it off my neck and threw it.
I watched as it ascended
high above the blacktop,
the beads glittered, scattering their light,
a rainbow against gray skies.

     Unadorned, direct, and often raw, these riveting poems sear their way into our imaginations, inviting us into a world we might never have known. We are richer for the knowledge.

Published by: Michigan State University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-

Chi miigwech to Louise Erdrich, Heid Erdrich, and the Turtle Mountain Writers Workshop. Your wisdom and encouragement helped me fi nd my voice and galvanized me into completing this manuscript; Dr. Larry Wowoide, Poet Laureate of North Dakota and mentor. Lise Erdrich for constant faith in me. Angie Erdrich-Patel for long Dakota winters...

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Introduction

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pp. xv-xvi

The poems in Dragonfly Dance are raw, funny, honest, and also acutely sensitive to a child’s point of view. A little girl ignores her brown skinned Barbie and tells her mother she wants to grow up white. We feel the bewilderment and terror of a child praying for her drunken father NOT to make it home, and later, the visceral sorrow of a woman at her...

Out Steppin’

Out Steppin’

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pp. 3-

The Necklace

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pp. 4-

Bag Balm

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pp. 5-

The Quilt

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pp. 6-7

Indian Angel in 1st Grade

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pp. 8-

Sweat Lodge

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pp. 9-

St. Ignatius

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pp. 10-

The Bundles of St. Ann’s

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pp. 11-

The Reservation Dump

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pp. 12-

Warm Morning at Ft. Totten

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pp. 13-

My Grandfather Was a New Initiate

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pp. 14-15

The Moccasin Trail

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pp. 16-

Ogichida Ikwewag

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pp. 17-

Obodashkwanishi

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pp. 18-

Dragonfly Dance

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pp. 19-

Midnight in North Dakota

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pp. 20-

To My Sister

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pp. 21-

Automatic Starter

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pp. 22-

The Warrior

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pp. 23-

Boise Forte Man

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pp. 24-

B.J.

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pp. 25-

Northern Lights

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pp. 26-

Night Owls

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pp. 27-

Sonnet

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pp. 28-

Oven Bread

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pp. 29-

The Bush Dance

The Bush Dance

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pp. 33-

Prairie Chicks

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pp. 34-

Portland, 1970s

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pp. 35-36

1969

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pp. 37-

Shape Shifting Rugaroo

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pp. 38-

Tracks

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pp. 39-40

Father

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pp. 41-42

Home from Happy Rock

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pp. 43-

Happy Pills

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pp. 44-

Hopeless Was the Ticker Tape

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pp. 45-

Foster Father

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pp. 46-

Mother Superior

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pp. 47-

St. Peter, 1957

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pp. 48-

Patent Leather Shoes

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pp. 50-

Denver March

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pp. 51-

The Eagles Dance

The Eagles Dance

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pp. 55-

Tonight the Train

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pp. 56-

Grand Forks

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pp. 57-

Sweet Water Well

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pp. 58-

Holy Hamm’s Beer

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pp. 59-

Drunkard’s Mass

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pp. 60-

May 11, 1980

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pp. 61-

Uncle Gus and Aunt Veronica

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pp. 62-

North Dakota

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pp. 63-

North Dakota on a Sunny Thirty below Zero Day

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pp. 64-

La Quette

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pp. 65-

Kicking Thunder

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pp. 66-

Answers

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pp. 67-68

Crazy Horse

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pp. 69-

Round Dance by Red Lake

Round Dance by Red Lake

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pp. 73-74

Starvation Winter, 1888

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pp. 75-

Sisters of War, Lacrosse

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pp. 76-77

Circles

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pp. 78-

Kookum

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pp. 79-

Sun Dogs

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pp. 80-

Winter’s Night

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pp. 81-

The Rain Was Warm and Mild

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pp. 82-83

Tribal Council Candidate

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pp. 84-86

Waabishi-ma’iingan

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pp. 87-

Anishinaabe before Columbus

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pp. 88-

Turtle Mountain Orchid

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pp. 89-

Glossary

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pp. 91-

Previously Published

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pp. 93-


E-ISBN-13: 9781609172008
Print-ISBN-13: 9780870139826

Page Count: 120
Publication Year: 2010