Thirteen Moons : Treize Lunes

Thirteen Moons : Treize Lunes

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Thirteen Moons : Treize Lunes

poems in English and French on opposite pages

Robert Chute
Traduit par Christian Bédard

6 X 9 inches, 72 pages

THIRTEEN MOONS is a poem based on various sources depicting the life of the Jesuit scholar, Sebastian Rale, beloved priest to the Norrigwock Indians whose life he shared for thirty years. During these years he produced an Abanaki-French dictionary. He was hated and feared by the English settlers of the Province of Maine who considered him an agent of France and an instigator of Indian rebellion.

TREIZE LUNES est un poème basé sur divers documents retraçant la vie de Sébastien Rale, jésuite et savant, missionaire chez les Indiens Norrigwock. Il était chéri par ces Indiens avec qui il vécut durant trente ans. Il produisit pendant son long séjour un dictionnaire Abénaki-Français. Les colons anglais de la province du Maine l'haïssaient cependant, et le considéraient comme un agent de la France et l'instigateur de plusieurs révoltes indiennes.

Fifty fire burn among
the stumps and stones.
Rotted fish are buried.
Planting sticks
wound the soft ground.
New winds bring smoke
of great fires burning
in the west. The setting sun
is cold and red.

I wake at night to see
a great light. I am struggling
as if a great hand were
at my throat. A voice pushes in
and fills the cabin.


'It is in vain for you
to take these pains.
I have possession of them.
I have them in my hand!'

Like the Chenoo held against the fire
until its heart of ice begins to melt
I stagger outside under the sharp stars
to spew up evil on the new grass.


May, 1724

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