Last October I took a trip to the Minnesota Goose Garden. My Minnesota has several previous posts from that trip.
Minnesota Goose Garden in Sandstone
During that visit, I was pleased, but not surprised, to see an acknowledgement of Frances Densmore's ethnographic work. I knew her name from our copy of her book "The Strength of the Earth, The Classic Guide to Ojibwe Uses of Native Plants."
Explanation of the Goose Garden
Today I encountered Densmore's name in a completely new context. This time I was surprised but delighted to see her name listed next to Minnesota's own Robert Bly, poet, editor and translator. That juxtaposition occurred thanks to Bly's role as editor of The Sea and the Honeycomb: A Book of Tiny Poems and his efforts, as translator, after Frances Densmore, of an Ojibwe prayer. Combined, Bly and Densmore, and the original author(s), brought this profound insight to us from Minnesota's past:
"Sometimes I go about pitying myself,I will hold those thoughts close to my heart while crawling through the last weeks of Winter, toward Spring's renewal and another visit to the Minnesota Goose Garden where I will say "thank you" to Frances, to Ni'sucwe'yaci'kwe (Woman blown about by the wind), and to the Ojibwe people who have helped Minnesotans have both roots to grow and wings with which to fly.
and all the time
I am being carried on great winds across the sky."
Frances Densmore and Ni'sucwe'yaci'kwe
She wants to grow from the rich-rotten trunkof the stamp left to sprout in the chain-linkedalley yard. She wants to be born there.
Or out of dry wind rushing debris aroundand cleaning the world like a slate thathasn’t yet written how her birth will be
if she be born slick-wet and shimmeringin rings like gas spill, born from long tricklesrun off curb-piled snow that flows in curtains
any northern winter when it is possible to burnin water, when flakes against skin so cold brandtheir pattern on the new-thought, engraved self.
Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.