Where Clouds Are Formed
96 pages, 6 x 8
Hardcover
Release Date:17 Oct 2008
ISBN:9780816527786
$36.95 Back Order
Ships in 4-6 weeks.
GO TO CART

Where Clouds Are Formed

SERIES:
The University of Arizona Press
Ofelia Zepeda is a Native American poet who possesses a kind of double vision. She sees the contemporary world through her own highly observant eyes and, at the same time, through the eyes of her Tohono O’odham ancestors. Seeing this way infuses her poetry with a resonance and depth that makes it a delight to read—and re-read.
Zepeda is as clear-eyed about the past as she is about the present. She recalls waiting for the school bus on a cold morning inside her father’s truck, listening to the sounds of the engine, the windshield wipers, and the “soft rain on the hood.” She remembers celebrating Mass on the “cold dirt floor of the Winter Solstice.” In the present, she sees both the frustration and the humor in a woman she observes trying to eat pancakes with one hand while her other resides in a cast: “Watching her, I realize eating pancakes is a two-handed job.”
Whatever she sees, she filters through her second set of eyes, which keep the past always present. She tells of traveling to Waw Giwulig, the most sacred mountain of the Tohono O’odham, to ask for blessings—and forgiveness. She writes that one should always bring music to the mountains, “so they are generous with the summer rains.” And, still, “the scent of burning wood / holds the strongest memory. / Mesquite, cedar, piñon, juniper, . . . / we catch the scent of burning wood; / we are brought home.” It is a joy to see the world afresh through her eyes.
In poem after poem, she invokes realities that her language expresses but English resists. In one of the most moving poems, Zepeda describes how she lacks a birth certificate because 'my parents are illiterate in the English language. . . . they speak a language much too civil for writing,' a language 'useful for praying with the earth and sky.' The connection between religion and language runs throughout the poems, as does the linkage between the land’s features and the Tohono O’odham tongue. Miraculously, Zepeda makes us hear echoes of her language through English—no small poetic feat. ' —Booklist

‘Zepeda takes readers into a realm where mystery and history combine, where past and present merge for the reader in a perplexing and simple elation of word and spirit.’ —Southwestern American Literature
Find what you’re looking for...
My alt text
And take 20% off distributed books using code SPRING21 at checkout. Expires June 30, 2021.
Stay Informed

Receive the latest UBC Press news, including events, catalogues, and announcements.


Read past newsletters
Current Catalogue
Fall 2021 catalogue cover with a gradient background
Publishers Represented
UBC Press is the Canadian agent for several international publishers. Visit our Publishers Represented page to learn more.