REVIEW OF Massacre at Sand Creek: Narrative Voices by Bruce Cutler (1995)
I originally bought the book because I wanted to know about the Narrative Voices in the title. Here was a brutal subject but also the promise of something more than simple brutality. I am reminded of Wilfred Owen’s poetry from WWI, of his struggle as a man who trained for the clergy who wanted to be a great poet, who also fought like a demon in the maelstrom of the Western Front. How can the Horror be communicated through the language and construction of poetry? I wanted to see how Bruce Cutler approached the challenge.
The Massacre at Sand Creek is a tale of treachery, hypocrisy, savagery and prejudiced blood-lust let loose with official approval. We have our own episodes in Australia. While on a lesser scale than Sand Creek, the intent (genocide, revenge) was the same, and the methods, the rationale, the religious and economic fervor, the trophies also. The last one I know of was in 1928 in our Northern Territory. read more …