#SurvivalStories2021 Books Early Readers Genre Joy and Peace in Literature Lifespan of a Reader Picture Books Poetry Poetry Friday Reading Themes

[Poetry Friday] Finding One’s Talk Through Poetry

Rebecca Thomas responds to Rita Joe's "I Lost My Talk" with "I'm Finding My Talk."

Myra here.

Thank you to Jone at Jone Rush MacCulloch for hosting this week.


I’m Finding My Talk (Amazon | Book Depository)

Words by Rebecca Thomas Illustrated by Pauline Young Published by Nimbus Publishing (2019)
ISBN: 1771088117 (ISBN13: 9781771088114). Bought a copy of the book. Book photos taken by me.

A month ago, we shared Rita Joe’s I Lost My TalkRebecca Thomas wrote an ostensibly-companion-poetry-piece with her powerful I’m Finding My Talk illuminated by Pauline Young.

Dedicated to the poet’s father, the Afterword details how Rebecca’s father who went to residential school had difficulties teaching Rebecca about her language and culture because he lost it, similar to Rita Joe’s experience.

Rebecca was in her twenties when she read the poem ‘I Lost My Talk’ by Rita Joe and was struck by how much she could relate to it even though she never spoke the language to begin with. Because not only did the Shubenacadie School take away Rita Joe’s and Rebecca’s father’s talk, they took it away from Rebecca, too.

In each page, Rebecca Thomas shows how she is gradually finding her talk – from honoring her father, to acknowledging the different pieces that make up her nephews and nieces, through every “stitch and seam” of her regalia, and through the words she scribbles on a page and speaking them out loud on a stage.

I hope this book finds its way to you very soon. I also found this Youtube link of Rebecca Thomas reading her poem, I’m Finding My Talk, aloud. Enjoy!


#SurvivalStories2021 Update: 13 out of target 100

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

4 comments on “[Poetry Friday] Finding One’s Talk Through Poetry

  1. Kay Mcgriff

    What an inspiring book/poem. I love how it continues the conversation from the earlier book.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve just been reading Braiding Sweetgrass, and the author touches on some of the same issues of language being taken away. This looks like a great book! Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing these books. I will need find them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I enjoyed hearing Rebecca read her poetry, not only for teaching me some of the sounds of her native language, but how well she crafted each stanza. Thanks for introducing me to her.

    Liked by 1 person

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