Old Man Cree: Solomon Ratt (th-dialect)

Sol says this song/poem was inspired by Willie Thresher’s “Old Man Inuit” – in which Willie Thresher interpolates his singing with audio recording of an Inuit Elder speaking Inuktitut. In this recording, Sol departs significantly from the original, providing his own Cree language commentary in response to Thresher’s song. The four images show his new composition verse by verse; the table provides the entire poem/song. (You can find Thrasher’s original on YouTube here.)

Old Man Cree (Inspired by “Old Man Inuit” by Willie Thrasher)
nitati-kisîthinîwin.I am getting old.
namôtha awasimî nikakî-mâcân.I can no longer hunt.
namôtha awasimî nikakî-otâpahastimwân.I can no longer drive a dog team.
namôtha awasimî ninahâpinI can no longer see clearly
ikwa nitati-kipihtân.And I am going deaf.
namôtha awasimî nimaskawisân.I am no longer strong
ninîstosin. ninîstosin.I am tired. I am tired.
nitati-kisîthinîwin.I am getting old.
mistahi kîkway î-mâthipathik nikî-pî-wâh-wâpahtîn:I have seen many things go bad:
ithiniwak î-wanihtâcik opîkiskwîwiniwâw;People losing their language;
ithiniwak î-wanihtâcik otisîhcikîwiniwâw.People losing their culture
kitimâkan. kitimâkan.It is sad. It is sad.
nitati-kisîthinîwin.I am getting old.
mistahi kîkway î-mithwâsikI see many good things:
nitati-wâpahtîn:Young people speaking
osk-âyak î-pîkiskwîcik opîkiskwîwiniwâw;Their language;
î-ohpinahkwâw otisîhcikîwiniwâw.Reviving their culture
mithwâsin. mithwâsinIt is good. It is good.
nitati-kisîthinîwin.I am getting old.
kiyâpic âtawîthaBut at least
nikakî-nikamon;I can still sing;
kiyâpic nikakî-âcathôhkân.I can still tell the old stories.
ninanâskomon. ninanâskon.I am grateful. I am grateful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Contact Us: