25 June 2011

Words for the Weekend

Happy Weekend everybody!! This past week, the 21st to be exact, was National Aboriginal Day here in Canada. In honor of that, today's poem was written by a Canadian aboriginal of the Inuit tribe in northern Canada. I hope you enjoy this one.

The Invisible Men
by Nakasak
translated by Edward Field

There is a tribe of invisible men
Who move around us like shadows - have you felt them?
They have bodies like ours and live just like us,
Using the same weapons and tools.
You can see their tracks in the snow sometimes
And even their igloos
But never the invisible men themselves.
They cannot be seen except when they die
For then the become visible.

It once happened that a human woman
Married one of the invisible men.
He was a good husband in every way:
He went out hunting and brought her food,
And they could talk together like any other couple.
But the wife could not bear the thought
That she did not know what the man she married looked like.
One day when they were both at home
She was so overcome with curiosity to see him
That she stabbed with a knife where she knew he was sitting.
And her desire was fulfilled:
Before her eyes a handsome young man fell to the floor.
But he was cold and dead, and too late
She realized what she had done,
And sobbed her heart out.

When the invisible men heard about the murder
They came out of their igloos to take revenge.
Their bows were seen moving through the air
And the bowstrings stretching as they aimed their arrows.
The humans stood their helplessly
For they had no idea what to do or how to fight
Because they could not see their assailants.
But the invisible men had a code of honor
That forbade them to attack opponents
Who could not defend themselves,
So they did not let their arrows fly,
And nothing happened; there was no battle after all
And everyone went back to their ordinary lives.


  1. This one reminds me a tinsy tiny bit of the story of Cupid and Psyche.


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