The Mother's Tongue

Front Cover
Salt, 2005 - Poetry - 106 pages
3 Reviews
SHORTLISTED FOR THE MINNESOTA BOOK AWARDS 2006. Poems in The Mother’s Tongue move in images of the living world that include plants and creatures both native and non-native to American landscapes. These poems move via persona and personal lyric through expressions of ambivalence about choosing the life of the body – of womanhood and motherhood – through the strange realm of pregnancy into the netherworld of the post-partum period and out into the world again, into the enlarged world, the world at war, the world of work and words. Finally these poems move to enter the world of women as transformed within the love of language – of recovered Ojibwe language and English renewed as first language in the mouths of infants. These are poems that urge women to discover the power of their own tongues as they teach speech – the sweet, salty, sour and bitter desires – the taste on the mother’s tongue.

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Review: The Mother's Tongue

User Review  - Molly - Goodreads

Here are some phrases that struck me in the reading: nectary (5) throat-open flowers (5) gnomes in their bones (15) the childgrain (18) salt the pit of herself (20) the infant face ... drifted like ... Read full review

Review: The Mother's Tongue

User Review  - Jessica - Goodreads

The four part division (bitter root, sweet milk) organized these poems with a singluar theme: pregnancy and child birth. She has some nice allusions and images, but the form gets lazy ( poems in the shape of the state of Minnesota") and babies begin to bore me. Read full review

About the author (2005)

Heid E. Erdrich, author of Fishing for Myth poems from New Rivers Press and co-editor of Sister Nations anthology from the Minnesota Historical Society Press, has won awards from The Loft Literary Center, Minnesota State Arts Board, Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers, and the Archibald Bush Foundation. She founded Birchbark Books Press with her sister, author Louise Erdrich. Her degrees are from Dartmouth College and Johns Hopkins University. A member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibway, she was raised in Wahpeton, North Dakota where her parents taught at the Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school. She teaches at The University of St. Thomas.

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