What the Chickadee Knows


Product Details

Wayne State University Press
Publish Date
5.0 X 8.0 X 0.25 inches | 0.21 pounds

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About the Author

Margaret Noodin is professor of English and American Indian studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she also serves as the associate dean of the Humanities and director of the Electa Quinney Institute for American Indian Education. She is the author of Bawaajimo: A Dialect of Dreams in Anishinaabe Language and Literature and Weweni (Wayne State University Press, 2015), a collection of bilingual poems in Anishinaabemowin and English.


'Recognize yourselves in shared water, ' writes Margaret Noodin in 'Apenimonodan' ('Trust') as the poems of What the Chickadee Knows open into an Anishinaabemowin world, asking us to listen, to be present in 'what we notice.' What I notice-what I delight in-is the music of poetry-visual and aural-how the sheer sound of words and each poem's visual lyricism creates meaning enough for connection. Poetry is music; poetry is the spirit of the senses sounded into life by breath. With these generous and rapt poems, written in Anishinaabemowin and translated by the author herself into English, Noodin gives us an extraordinary gift: an invitation into the illumination of language.-- (04/29/2020)
With careful attention to rhythm and sound, What the Chickadee Knows reveals the wonderfully unexpected connections between Anishinaabemowin and English. Weaving together not only different languages but different landscapes and histories, this collection of evocative and minutely observed poems celebrates the vast web of relations that sustains us all.-- (04/29/2020)
Through nuanced connections, Margaret Noodin's poems partake in important Anishinaabeg world-making. Here observations of season and place always include human interaction: snowshoes 'writing canoe shapes in bright snow, ' jam-makers 'mixing wind and shining water.' This collection-a primer on how to locate ourselves 'in the center of the blessed'-nevertheless assesses damage caused by America's exclusionary history, becomes 'a sneak-up dance of survival.'-- (04/29/2020)
Would it be strange for me, strange of me, to tell you not to read but listen to these poems? There is so much silence and near silence within and between the words, the lines, the pages of this book. These poems, shaped of many languages, quieted me, and reminded me to listen-that listening requires my own quiet. So, as in any walk anywhere upon the earth, beneath the sky-or through this book-my quiet lead me to Noodin's deep silence, carried me to every important thing there was and is to hear.-- (04/29/2020)