Taking the Names Down From the Hill by Philip Kevin PaulTaking the Names Down From the Hill by Philip Kevin Paul

Taking the Names Down From the Hill

byPhilip Kevin Paul

Paperback | March 20, 2003

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Philip Kevin Paul is a rare young poet with the voice of an elder. A WSÁ,NEC Indian from BC's Saanich Peninsula, Paul's oral tradition and life perspective are as old as the hills themselves, but their addition to Canadian poetry is long-awaited and increasingly vital.

Philip Kevin Paul's poems rise from the belly of awareness. With the movement of a snake, he weaves through the mind and digs into the senses with the grace and concentration of a master. Paul has a remarkable ability to present the natural world infused with wonder and mystery, and his lyric narratives invite the reader to ponder the bigger questions. His precision with words shows deep and exceptional knowledge and understanding of his First Nations oral tradition and language, which he blends into poetry to produce a compelling and forceful new voice. Though he has made few appearances in magazines and anthologies (as "Kevin Paul"), by word-of-mouth his work has attracted an impressive following of admirers that includes Daniel David Moses, Roy Vickers, Patrick Lane, Lorna Crozier, Patrick Friesen, Tim Lilburn, David Zieroth, Karen Connelly, the late Al Purdy, Gregory Scofield and the Irish Whitbread-Award winner Paul Durcan.
Philip Kevin Paul is a member of the WSÁ,NEC Nation from the Saanich Peninsula on Vancouver Island. His work has been published in BC Studies, Literary Review of Canada, Breathing Fire: Canada's New Poets and An Anthology of Canadian Native Literature in English. Paul has worked with the University of Victoria's linguistics department...
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Title:Taking the Names Down From the HillFormat:PaperbackDimensions:80 pages, 7.5 × 5.25 × 0.19 inPublished:March 20, 2003Publisher:Nightwood EditionsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0889711828

ISBN - 13:9780889711822

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Reviews

Read from the Book

CEREMONYA crow walksits muddykneeless walkacrossa freshly plowed field.In this light,I see the crowas crows are--so much seems possible.WHEN THE MASK OPENSInside the raven's mouthan ancient man's face is carved,capturing the moment he weptlarge tears, potent enoughto put us here forever.Whatever we call ourselves now.Whatever we will call ourselves.It was that ancient man inside theraven's mouth, driven by lonelinessto despair that put us here forever.A man standing at his windowis looking through yearsat the dancer flipping openthe raven mask, only inquick glimpses at first. Then,at the end of the dance, downon his knees, the dancerleaves the mask open,the raven's mouth agape,the ancient man's faceforever in anguish.The man knows that he can'tlook through all those yearsand remember everythingabout being seven and seeinga dancer perform in accordancewith the mask he wore. Only withthe dull and clumsy prodding ofthe adult mind can he recallthe place of dance that rottedand was burned down, or wasburned down beforeit was humiliated by rotin the times of vast poverty.Yet when a raven looks at him,head cocked, from a tree outsidehis window, he tries to rememberor recreate the earnestness in himfrom years ago when a similar ravenlooked from that very tree andthe boy wanted it to openits mouth so he could seewhat was inside.

Editorial Reviews

"The subjects of the poems in this highly accomplished first book by Philip Kevin Paul, a First Nations writer from Saanich, B.C., are often people now lost to the writer (father, mother, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends) but held in memory as part of a living tradition. They are meditational narratives, full of moments seen clearly and distinctly. Paul has a keen eye for the telling detail, as the few shorter poems -- which are almost imagist -- demonstrate; but such details fill out all the stories he tells..."To read through Taking the Names Down from the Hill is to encounter a family, a tribe, a continuing life of the people even as the land disappears: "What I imagined was my only home / lost forever under tons of concrete / and vulgar electric houses humming. The sickness into us." But none of it is quite so lost, and the poems themselves tell us why this is so: "[S]orrow has had its time. / The mourning must break / at last. I will tell you / what they really left us. / They left us / magic, in everything." Narrative meditations of real power, these poems offer their readers such magic. "--Douglas Barbour, Canadian Book Review Annual