A beautiful and important PBS documentary in which Bob Holman carries forward the fight to save endangered languages (3000 of them) and their attendant poetries. Language Matters asks what we lose when languages die, and how we can save them. Writes Norman MacAfee in The Huntington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/let-the-world-speak_b_65382):
There are 6,000 languages in the world, and half are endangered. Those 3,000 will be gone by the end of this century if we don't do something. What are we going to do? That is the situation outlined in a new PBS documentary, Language Matters with Bob Holman, by David Grubin and Bob Holman. Why is saving endangered languages important?
These 3,000 endangered languages are part of the history, and the prehistory, of humanity. They are part of prehistory because many are only spoken languages, not written, passed orally from generation to generation, down the millennia.
[N.B. Yoko Danno’s Songs and Stories of the Kojiki is the first English translation to capture the full sweep & ferocity of the founding Japanese epic. The work as such was originally published by Ahadada Books in 2008 & has just been reissued by Red Moon Press in Winchester, VA. Born, raised & educated in Japan, Danno has been writing solely in English for almost forty years. She continues to live & work in Kobe.]
AUTHOR'S NOTE. With a small Saltonstall poetry grant, I visited Auschwitz in 2004-05 during all the seasons. I had to get the sense of the place on my skin and know at least that reality as it was felt by the inmates. It was hard to find a way into the overwhelming “pity and terror” of the Auschwitz tragedy, and many poems took on a surreal cast. I welcomed the variety of approaches that presented themselves. Some poems, like “Birken, Place of Birches” and “The Carp Feeders,” are based on where and when events occurred.
[On September 23rd 43 students of the teacher's college in Ayotzinapa, in the state of Guerrero, Mexico, were detained by the police on the way to a protest, and handed over to a local drug cartel. They were tortured and killed, their bodies dismembered, dumped in a pit and incinerated. Mexico has been in turmoil since.
David Huerta is one of Mexico's most important poets. This poem is his reaction. (M.W.)]