In This Collection Of Contemporary Poems For Children, Thirty Five Aboriginal Poets Write About What It Means To Be Aboriginal TodayMany Of The Poems Reflect The Anger, Despair, And Determination Of A People Dispossessed Of Their Land And Denied Justice Some Poets Recall The Spirituality And Culture Of Their Ancestors Still Others Look With Hope To The FutureHard Hitting Or Tough, Sad Or Nostalgic, Warm Or Funny All Of These Poems Reveal That Two Hundred Tears Of Detribalisation, Protectionism, Assimilation And Integration Have Not Dimmed The Aboriginal Spirit After having read a lot of picture books by Native Americans including Native Hawaiians and Canadians, I was struck by how difficult it is to find in the U.S Aboriginal Australian picturebooks Going through my poetry shelf at the tail end of National Poetry Month, though I was reminded that I had a couple Aboriginal Australian poetry books on my to read list of which this is one.I got a copy from the library and read it over lunch today and was generally pretty meh on it A lot of the poems feel basically like prose or like they re trying to hard to be rhyming verse and, which is worse, overall feel like there s not much there there.There are some good bits, though The Two Little Round Stones by Obed Ragget is really powerful and there is SO MUCH packed into the one metaphor.And I was moved by the idea in Oodgeroo s Dawn Wail for the Dead of beginning each day remembering and crying for the dead and then moving on into the life of a new day.A lot of the poems recalling how things used to be didn t interest me much, but I liked the pointed contrast in Margaret Brusnahan s Lambing Time which again, gets at a lot through some deft use of example without over explaining.There are poems about what happened after white settlers arrived, and it doesn t shy away from including how Aboriginal children were taken away from their parents Eva Johnson s Protection is a particularly powerful statement, and Weevily Porridge is a fun story of resistance er, I say fun, and if you read it I think you ll understand what I mean, but it s also describing resistance within an abusive system, so fun feels like not quite the right word.Jimmy Chi and Mick Manolis Bran Nue Day is a damning indictment of progress among other things.Robert Walker s Solitary Confinement is a powerful indictment of the prison system and its ostensible rehabilitation aims in any context, not just inflicted upon Aborigines.