Friday, April 02, 2010

Joseph Bruchac - Bear Path

Joseph Bruchac

All of our people
tell stories about you--
how you move
through the woods,
how you know
all the trails.

You walk quiet, move slow
but when your young ones
are threatened, your roar
is as strong as a storm wind.

We all have tales
of how you took pity
on human children
when they were lost--
how you took them in,
how you helped them survive.

Older relative,
we humans do well
when we learn to walk
the same path you walk.

© 2010 Joseph Bruchac. All rights reserved.

Joseph Bruchac writes award-winning poetry, picture books, plays, novels, and songs, makes crafts and instruments, and is a storyteller and performer extraordinaire. He is best known as a Native writer and storyteller, drawing on his Abenaki heritage and much more, but I didn't know any of the above when I first stumbled into his book Thirteen Moons on Turtle's Back. I just knew he was an incredible storyteller who used words brilliantly.

As I read more, I realized I was gaining perspectives and insights into cultures I knew far less about than I would like to admit. This is something I love about poetry and something Joseph Bruchac does masterfully - open that window often with brevity, always with clarity by telling stories and never lecturing. If you don't know his work, you should now, now, now go to his website to hear a few poems. Then read his books and share his poems and stories. You and whoever you share them with will be glad you did.

I'm so honored to have Joseph Bruchac as part of 30 Poets/30 Days, and happy to have his poem up on the first Poetry Friday of National Poetry Month. This week's roundup is hosted by Kate Coombs over at the Book Aunt. There's lots of great stuff going on in the Kidlitosphere, so I hope you'll check it out.

Yesterday gave as Alice Schertle's Triolets That Trouble My Sleep. Tomorrow... Laura Purdie Salas with Anaconda. For more on 30 Poets/30 Days and ways to follow along, please click here.


tanita✿davis said...

Because I have heard Joseph Bruchac speak and read, I always "hear" him in his poetry. This is so beautiful - measured and deliberate and solemn, yet joyful. Lovely stuff.

Irene Latham said...

I'm really drawn to how the voice in the poem suits the subject. Will read more of Joseph's work. Thanks, Greg!

Carol Grannick said...

Beautiful, as always...with many fond memories of reading Joseph Bruchac's words to my son in the early years.

Mary Lee said...

There are probably LOTS of paths we humans ought to study and walk in order to do a better job with our own!

Terry Doherty said...

I knew he was a storyteller, but didn't know he was a poet. This is beautiful. It has that same sense about it as The Return of Skeleton Man

Anonymous said...

Huge Joseph Bruchac fan. Thanks for highlighting him.

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

What a beautiful poem. Thank you for letting me feel , if just for a moment, like I was walking that path...

Laura said...

Thanks for bringing this book to my attention. I have put it on my reading list.

Laura Evans
all things poetry

Andromeda Jazmon said...

I love this Bruchac poem. He is a wonderful storyteller as well as a poet.

Author Amok said...

I love the idea that we humans should learn from an "older relative." Thanks!

Doret said...

As I write this I am listening to Bruchac read some of his poems.
I didn't know Bruchac was also a poet.

Thank you

Linda Boyden said...

Joseph's words have such quiet power. Twice I have seen bears close up and felt the same feelings evoked in this poem.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this wonderful poem -- and for the links to Joseph Bruchac's site. I enjoyed listening to the poems posted there.