Title: Mitakuye Oyasin: We Are All Related
Author: Jim Greenwald
Reviewer: W. H. McDonald, Jr. – AAA Founder
A Love for Mother Earth – Poetry that has a message
First off, the title of this book is taken from a Lakota term that when translated means “we are all related” thus the full title of poet’s Jim Greenwald’s book is “Mitakuye Oyasin: We Are All Related.” When reading his poems you can see very clearly that the title fits the poetry within the pages. Jim's Native American Ojibwe heritage comes through in great evidence in all his prose. This is another of his wonderful books of poetry and this may be his absolute best work to date.
The feeling you get from this themed book of poetry is that there is a connection with nature and the natural world around us. His words are like a walk in the woods with someone who truly loves being outdoors and appreciates the trees, the birds and all that surrounds him. This poet is very much at ease in the wilderness of his mind or in his earthly terra firma. So, it becomes a joyful and pleasant journey of prose as we transverse through this world that he observes.
His poetry has a message of respect and love for “Mother Earth” but also for each other. His words and phrasing are like a pathway to the inner heart. He knows how to connect with nature but he also connects with people. These poems are uplifting and hopeful. It was a pleasure to wander through his words and feel what he must have been feeling when he wrote them.
Some of his poetry asks questions as a way of pointing out a problem such as in his poem “Window.”
"He hears no animals, no insects, no birds,
only the noise of horns blaring,
as he breathes the poison engines spew out,
The air burning his lungs.
He sips his water from a bottle
as he stands beside a stream so polluted it stinks.
Grandfather, I do not understand.
Why would one destroy that which gives life?"
The poet and poetry become one and the same as you read his book. Wonderful verse and wise words! Certainly a poetry book of substance and spirit! I recommend it for poetry lovers and those who like Native American philosophy. It is a gentle reading experience and one that will fill you with peace.
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