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Dragonfly Dance

Denise K. Lajimodiere
Introduction by Louise Erdrich
Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 120
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  • Book Info
    Dragonfly Dance
    Book Description:

    Dragonfly Danceis 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 boyran by, yankedit off my neck and threw it.I watched as it ascendedhigh 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.

    eISBN: 978-1-60917-200-8
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-xii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. xv-xvi)

    If healing is partly the resurrection and acknowledgement of pain, then Denise Lajimodiere is a healer through her poetry. If healing is partly laughter, then Denise’s poetry can laugh through tears. If healing is a mysterious process, Denise shows that it also begins in everyday kindness.

    The poems inDragonfly Danceare 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...





    • Round Dance by Red Lake
      (pp. 73-74)
    • Starvation Winter, 1888
      (pp. 75-75)
    • Sisters of War, Lacrosse
      (pp. 76-77)
    • Circles
      (pp. 78-78)
    • Kookum
      (pp. 79-79)
    • Sun Dogs
      (pp. 80-80)
    • Winter’s Night
      (pp. 81-81)
    • The Rain Was Warm and Mild
      (pp. 82-83)
    • Tribal Council Candidate
      (pp. 84-86)

      Tonshe! My name is Joe “Che Boy” Moliere, and I’m a District I candidate for tribal council. My father is Manard “Che Man” Moliere, and my mom is Cherrie “Che Fe” (nee LaPlante) Moliere. My grandfather was the late Larry “LaPuhsh” Moliere, and my grandmother is Jenny “LaJang” Moliere-LaPierre. I was born and raised on the reservation and I’m a card carrying ½ Michif, me.

      I picked rocks, raspberries at a farm, and dumped potatoes in the valley, did surveying for the Bureau, and made ladders in a factory. As youse can see I’ve had leadership responsibilities and experiences most...

    • Waabishi-ma’iingan
      (pp. 87-87)
    • Anishinaabe before Columbus
      (pp. 88-88)
    • Turtle Mountain Orchid
      (pp. 89-90)
  9. Glossary
    (pp. 91-92)
  10. Previously Published
    (pp. 93-93)