The Law of the Land

(3 reviews)

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Publication Date:  May 19, 2020

We live in an immoral age. Humanity suffers from “nature deficit disorder.” We have lost touch with the Earth, the Great Lawgiver. These poems unveil a moral code derived from the Earth. Part I reveals the moral code of the Lakota Sioux, a Plains Indian tribe whose way of life was taken from them. Part III shows the moral code of a former US Army sniper, an Indian killer who took part in the destruction of the Lakota. Both are moral codes of actions, not words. Part II, the middle section, reconciles these two opposing codes; it is the Law of the Land—the Earth’s moral code which affects animal, mineral, and vegetable. This is the Law which prevails over us all. It is immortal and omnipotent, it has the final say.

With stark and powerful language, The Law of the Land tells a poetic fable through three voices from America’s past, each describing their own unique stories and perspectives which impart lessons about life and morality. Though these voices (and their moral codes) appear in opposition, they interact in ways which illuminate a complex relationship between them. Red Hawk’s poems originate from an intellect and spiritual maturity that reveal a deep wisdom about the nature of life, America’s history, and our relationship with Mother Earth.

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Additional information

Publication Date

May 19, 2020

Format

Perfect Paperback, Hardcover, eBook

ISBN

978-0-9845494-8-1, 978-1-951547-02-8, 978-0-9845494-9-8

Length

110 pages

Trim

5.5 x 8.5 inches

Review on NetGalley

The Law of the Land can be reviewed on NetGalley prior to publication by clicking here.

3 reviews for The Law of the Land

  1. Avatar

    The late William Packard — Editor, “New York Quarterly”

    This is such a strong book, written in a strong plain style. Red Hawk is like Whitman because he can contain multitudes and yet he is always so authentically himself. Behind all these [poems] there is always one single simple thing, which is Red Hawk’s own voice. Haunting and stark, ironic and spare. These poems are desperately important to us all today because Red Hawk has that rarest of all virtues (Virgil had it, Dante had it, Shakespeare had it)—a sense of civilization, something most of us have forgotten all about. Behind each of these miraculously crafted poems, Red Hawk speaks of the wise silence and the raw courage and the animal honesty and the elemental pride we will all be needing if we are to survive on this godforsaken planet as free men and women.

    These poems are desperately important to us all today because Red Hawk has that rarest of all virtues (Virgil had it, Dante had it, Shakespeare had it)—a sense of civilization, something most of us have forgotten all about. Behind each of these miraculously crafted poems, Red Hawk speaks of the wise silence and the raw courage and the animal honesty and the elemental pride we will all be needing if we are to survive on this godforsaken planet as free men and women.

  2. Avatar

    Patrick Carmen — Reviewer, NetGalley

    The Lakota had no word for love, rather a phrase , “you and I are planting”. Red Hawk has a masterpiece between these pages. In my youth I knew two Lakota Holy Men. There were above reproach meaning they were thought of as having no observable faults and were truly remarkable. That was many years ago . I think abut them at times when I feel stressed or discouraged. When I started reading these writings I knew immediately that this book was full of Good Things. It is honest though. It is not always comfortable to think aboout the terrible crimes that were done againt the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota peoples. It hurts to read the truth if you are honest. I learned a LOT about my friends and remembered some things too while reading this book. One of the Holy Men I knew said to me, Mitakaye Oyasi, That means we are all related. He told me I could say that to others as he gave me permission. From his lips that was an honor I never fogot. This book has much wisdom and hope. I am reading daily to give me good light on my path. Mitakaye Oyasi.

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    Maria Soldatenkov, Avantgardereads — Reviewer, NetGalley

    This book contains a collection of poems separated into three sections, and before each section there is also a handful of quotes as an introduction. The overall concept of the book is very unique – the first section is about the Lakota Sioux, the third is about a former US military member who was involved in the destruction of the tribe, and the second section is a bridge between the first and third, told from an Earth/nature perspective. Each part is about moral codes and the author takes a unique approach of explaining these concepts through stories of actions and experiences rather than just using vocabulary to “list” or define the moral codes, though the titles of each poem do provide readers with a bit of guidance regarding the ultimate message. This is definitely a book that can be read multiple times to gain more context or perspective each time. The poems convey a strong and sad story when read in order, but they are also meaningful and well-written when read individually.

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    Dr J Reads, Reviewer — NetGalley

    Wow. Red Hawk writes well, with a clear voice that I greatly enjoyed. I loved the way this poet craft verses out of culture and worldview. The Law of the Land is a collection worth owning and sharing with others. Many thanks to Red Hawk for this work, and to the publisher for sharing a copy for my honest review.

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    Theresa Hulongbayan — Reviewer, NetGalley

    An assortment of stories and poems from an anthropological view of the Native American culture, from first contact to the destruction. With parts and pieces of historical figures in the conflict and remembrance. Interviews of Native American figures like Sitting Bull and of Indian killers . . . why they did the deeds the reminder that the conflict has two sides. It’s a hard story in history for people to understand.

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    Amber Wiseman — Reviewer, NetGalley

    First, I adored Part I of The Law of The Land, but the further I read, the less I enjoyed the poetry. The style of ged, and perhaps it was because of the viewpoints, but I just could not appreciate the writing. It was difficult to read in the way it was written, and although the content was necessary (especially in light of the ongoing race issues), the use of shorthand (or perhaps this is Red Hawk’s way of best getting across the Indian Killer’s speech patterns) didn’t resonate with me. The Law of the Land was a beautiful collection, and I had a lot of favorite parts, on the whole it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

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    Kay McLeer — Reviewer, NetGalley

    These were really good poems, I really enjoyed reading them and I liked that it wasn’t just poems but there were also stories.

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