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Reviews 125 The Sound ofRattles and Clappers: A Collection ofNew California Indian Writing. Edited by Greg Sarris. (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1994. 161 pages, $30.00/$14.95.) The Sound ofRattles and Clappers may be technically “new” writings from California, but little of it says anything new. Most of the work in the first threequarters of the book recounts the same whining “personal” histories of the abuse ofancestors bywhite invaders thatwe can read in any and all anthologies of literate English-speaking Native American writers. These “histories” pass themselves off as poetry because they are written in short lines and appear in vertical columns on the page. The quality of these verbal verticalities, even when they invoke a “native” response to nature and the resurrection and reinvention of native culture is, however, simply unremarkable. That said, it can be noted that in spite ofits redundancies this collection is sprinkled with occasional pleasing images such as Stephen Meadows’s “A chainsaw dismembers the silence/of awhite afternoon”andJanice Gould’s “to touch you everywhere I am/open.”James Luna’slack offluency in English, his prolific use of clichés, i.e. “around wood stoves containing glowing embers” and mundane little diary entries lend a certain “charm”to the collection that one would hesitate to call art. Unfortunately, too, the pathetic fallacy is kept abundantly alive and well in these “poems” as in Meadows’s “Above Suicide Creek/the trees felled/one by one/can be heard to scream.” The strongest material in the book is the editor’s own. Greg Sarris can tell a pretty good story. PENELOPE REEDY The Redneck Review ofLiterature, Idaho Bone Dance: New and Selected Poems, 1965-1993. By Wendy Rose. (Tucson: Uni­ versity of Arizona Press, 1993. 108 pages, $19.95/$10.95.) Bone Dance serves best as a Wendy Rose sampler because it contains samples from each of her seven previous books of poems along with seven poems from a new volume, Now PoofSheIs Gone. It also profiles her struggle to find poetic voice and personal and cultural identity from her younger years to the present. Her search takes her many places, including California, Connecti­ cut, New York, New Hampshire; it takes her from scientific encounters gener­ ating from her original academic discipline, anthropology, (which sharpens her focus on the treatment of Indian skeletons and the fragmenting of a culture symbolized by museums’ classification and shelving of “bones”and by the commercial market for Indian skeletons) to the prejudice she encounters ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
p. 125
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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