I Lost My Talk by Rita Joe & I’m Finding My Talk by Rebecca Thomas

Rita Joe’s wonderful and well-known poem, I Lost My Talk, has been made into a children’s book. And it’s perfect for a children’s book – it’s written in clear, simple language that children can understand, and it introduces them to Rita Joe long before most of us were lucky enough to encounter her work.

I lost my talk
The talk you took away.
When I was a little girl
At Shubenacadie school.

You snatched it away:
I speak like you
I think like you
I create like you
The scrambled ballad, about my word.

Two ways I talk
Both ways I say,
Your way is more powerful.

So gently I offer my hand and ask,
Let me find my talk
So I can teach you about me. 

In response to Rita Joe’s poem, Rebecca Thomas wrote I’m Finding My Talk, which has been made into a companion book for Joe’s I Lost My Talk. Both books are beautifully illustrated by Pauline Young.

I’m finding my talk
And it may take some time,
But I’m learning to speak
In a language that’s mine.

Take the time to find these books at your library and read them to your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Now, more than ever, we need these books.

Interpretation by students of the Allison Bernard Memorial High School in Eskasoni of Rita Joe’s poem, I lost my talk.

11 thoughts on “I Lost My Talk by Rita Joe & I’m Finding My Talk by Rebecca Thomas

  1. buriedinprint says:

    What gorgeous work, in words and paints! And I’m so glad to see your link in the last paragraph above the video. I’ve been watching this news unfold and it’s so unjust. How people can tell themselves that the injustices aboriginal peoples suffer are all events/policies of the past…they’re not recognizing their and our history is still unfolding.

    • Naomi says:

      I just sit here and wonder how this can all be happening. And then I look at books like the ones in this post and think and hope that maybe they can/will make a difference in the lives of all the children growing up right now. And maybe even to the adults reading to them.

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