Ukrainian Daughter’s Dance
poems by Marion Mutala

Print: 978-1-77133-333-7
ePub: 978-1-77133-334-4
PDF: 978-1-77133-336-8

80 Pages
September 30, 2016
New Poetry All Titles

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Ukrainian Daughter’s Dance poems by Marion Mutala

The rich and varied poems in Ukrainian Daughter’s Dance speak to the heart as they document a woman’s life journey, as a Ukrainian-Canadian, and as a prairie woman, and her voyage of self-discovery. Her story can be anyone’s story. Poems explore issues of immigrant identity and voice in the prairies, and celebrate a cultural heritage expressed through song, dance, art, work and life.

"Marion Mutala writes with tender grace. Her poems are wide-ranging, vivid, real, and intimate. Open this book and prepare to enter the world of a true Ukrainian Daughter, dancing barefoot in the black dirt."

—Alice Kuipers, author of Life on the Refrigerator Door

"Marion Mutala has a way of forming captivating rhythms of words that dance around in my mind, joyfully creating extraordinary images as I read."

—Carey Rigby-Wilcox, Award-winning Author and Illustrator

Ukrainian Daughter's Dance

Marion Mutala has a master’s degree in education administration and taught for 30 years. With a mad passion for the arts she loves to write, sing, folkdance, play guitar, garden, travel, and read. She is the author of the bestselling and award-winning children’s book trilogy, Baba’s Babushka: A Magical Ukrainian Christmas, Baba’s Babushka: A Magical Ukrainian Easter, and Baba’s Babushka: A Magical Ukrainian Wedding. Her fourth book, Grateful was published in 2014 and another children’s book, Kohkom’s Babushka: A Magical Ukrainian/Aboriginal Legend, is forthcoming in 2016. Ukrainian Daughter’s Dance is her debut poetry collection.

Ukrainian Daughter's Dance by Marion Mutala
reviewed by Candice James
Canadian Poetry Review - October 10, 2016
https://www.facebook.com/548677701931198/photos/a.647937188671915.1073741828.548677701931198/941652609300370/?type=3&theater

Marion Mutala opens the book with 3 poems that open the door to the Ukrainian Daughter’s Dance: “Memories”, “Washboard”, and “Old Farmhouse” focus a soft lens on her youth and open our hearts and minds to the nostalgia of our own youthful days .

In the poem “Depression” Mutala compares this intangible disease to a beast stalking her sister:

“Stalking beast attacks / Wears mask / Camouflage the blues”

And then ends the poem with what seems like a cure “of sorts” which really isn’t a cure at all.

“Once a wild caged animal / Medicated / then born again /
She acts like a simple child”

“Seductress” brings into focus the perils of falling prey to the liquid flames of alcohol of which fallout can create holocausts, tsunamis, and total destruction of soul of a long period of substance abuse. From opening line:

“She looks at me with magnetic dark eyes”

To the ending stanza

“She falls asleep in my arms /
My bottle of lust, my sparkling bottle of rum /
Slowly, one ounce at a time”

My favourite poem in the book is “Effect”, a nature poem, short, sweet and filled with vivid imagery:

“Nature encompasses / a sundog / beautifying / the cold sky”

And what a fitting ending to end the book with the title poem “Ukraininan Daughter’s Dance”. Mutala proudly displays her heritage in these excerpted lines:

“I am what I am I say”

“I’ll always be a prairie girl /
and daughter of a Ukrainian matya”

“And a Ukrainian Prairie daughter will always /
dance barefoot in the black dirt

Dancing through the pages to the magical rhythm Mutala’s poetry exudes is enjoyable indeed.

     Memories

     Visiting the old farm house, a flashback-
     Tubs of peas shelled during Matinees
     Stealing eggs, making soft, squishy mud pies
     Eaton’s cut-outs
     Flying paper dolls, changing bed sheets
     Picking rocks
     Swinging water pails
     Playing in the old grey caboose
     Jumping in bales
     Riding pigs
     Waiting by the screen door exasperated, I take a chance
     Running scared to the outhouse
     Tormented by turkeys and chickens
     Sleeping three to a bed
     Feet hanging through a hole in the ceiling; listening
     Thunderstorms, cracks of lightning
     Hiding under bedcovers
     Waking, eyes glued shut from pink eye

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