My poem uses words that can be found on page 60 of The Golden Spruce. While the words of the poem are formatted in the style of a fridge magnet poem, all of the words are in sequential order, much like blackout poetry. The text is as follows:
The bursting crowd rumbled outside.
Ravens hung motionless,
Singers rose into the air with grief.
Spirit was dead.
Spirit was leaving.
For a long time, it were comfortable
But some cracks begin to show.
People break out and glide away
Engulfed by the fire.
Accompanying my poem is an image that shows a dead forest, still surrounded by small flames and smoke. Unfortunately, I am unable to re-find where I initially retrieved the image from, however; the same photo can be found on the here on the Rocky Mountain Catastrophe & Restoration website.
I chose to create my found poem using words from the Golden Spruce chapter titled “The People”, as I found its detailed description of Aboriginal culture at the time to be quite interesting. From our initial look into residential schools at the start of the year, to my recent confederation character, I have been spending a lot of my social studies journey this year looking into the history of different Indigenous communities. I wanted to continue this theme during The Golden Spruce as well. The reasoning behind choosing the specific passage from page 60 is that I found the description of the events at Skilay’s funeral to be very captivating and vivid. The story paints Skilay’s funeral to be quite a joyous time — a celebration of life, instead of a time of mourning. I really admire how the First Nations can take something that many perceive as negative, such as death, and make it into an extravagant and positive occasion. Using the theme of duality, I took this happy(ish) celebration, and had it become something much darker. I turned the Aboriginal’s positive outlook on the theme of death, and conformed it to the stereotypical fear instead. I took the words that conceptualized this occurrence as peaceful and calm, and turned it around to become something haunting.