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Deciphering the “mi’kmaq book of the dead”
Although it’s not essential to this visual poem or an appreciation of it, mIEKAL aND has produced a translation of what you see above; it begins like this…
take from me / the great beliefs / because / it is written / they gathered together / again / so you taught us / to have a long life / some things / are beyond / the time is here / from the moment / be like / them
According to Geof Huth, who curated the special feature on visual poetry, curated by Geof Huth, in the November issue of Poetry, “aND often incorporates alien scripts into his work. These can be undecipherable writing systems of history, scripts unfamiliar to most people, and scripts invented by him or others. He uses these to allow us to see written language with new eyes, to appreciate its visual forms, and to face the process of searching for meaning in a foreign textscape. His “mi’kmaq book of the dead” combines seemingly recognizable characters with apparently pictographic ones, encouraging us to pick out a meaning we will never quite find on our own.”
So… would anyone like to let us know what they imagine the rest of the poem to mean?