Jeanette Armstrong and the Unpoetic
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This paper examines Aboriginal creative talent in Jeanette Armstrong's poem "History Lesson." The paper points out that the history of Aboriginal Canadians is one of colonization and oppression, and as such, it is hard to imagine that their authentic art or writing could escape dealing with these unpoetic realities. The paper maintains that the poem reflects Armstrong's commitment to ruthlessly dealing with the unpoetic. The paper attempts to show the larger social context in which Armstrong was working. It concludes that grappling with the unpoetic offers the colonized people the opportunity to heal and take back the creativity that was crushed by the colonizers' "educative" attempts.
From the Paper:"Thus, all in all, the Aboriginals lost much that was of value in their culture, and gained aspects of the European culture that either were not valuable, or were actively destructive. Moreover, Aboriginals also lost their land, their children, and their economic way of life. We see the results of all of this loss and destruction in Aboriginal lives today. Modern Aboriginal Canadians have a much higher rate of lifestyle-related health problems than do non-Aboriginals. For example, Aboriginal rates of alcoholism, drug addiction, and diseases related to prostitution, are much higher than the rates of non-Aboriginals. Moreover, family violence problems are much more prevalent (Carter). In addition, poor parenting is almost the norm. As has been pointed out: "Poverty and family dislocation are the norm among Aboriginal families" (Robertson 555)."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Blackman, Margaret B. During my Time: Florence Edenshaw Davidson. A Haida Woman. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1990.
- Calloway, Colin G. One Vast Winter Count: The Native American West before Lewis and Clark. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2003.
- Carter, Tim. "Pay for Pain, Indians Say." The Washington Times (Aug. 12, 2001): 1.
- Jackson, Richard L. Black Writers and Latin America: Cross-Cultural Affinities. Washington, DC: Howard University Press, 1998.
- Highway, Tomson. Kiss of the Fur Queen. Toronto: Doubleday Canada Limited, 1998.
Cite this Poem Review:
Jeanette Armstrong and the Unpoetic (2008, March 31) Retrieved May 08, 2021, from https://www.academon.com/poem-review/jeanette-armstrong-and-the-unpoetic-102695/
"Jeanette Armstrong and the Unpoetic" 31 March 2008. Web. 08 May. 2021. <https://www.academon.com/poem-review/jeanette-armstrong-and-the-unpoetic-102695/>