The House of Charlemagne by Tim Lilburn
Louis Riel prophesied that a polyglot Metis nation would rise on the prairies five hundred years after his death, and that it would be called by the "joyous name" of the House of Charlemagne. This new polity would be built on the principles of Riel's Massinahican, a radical philosophical system which now survives only in fragments. Its hallmarks would be justice, ontological accord, and the blurring of all separations dividing women and men, the earth and human beings. The House of Charlemagne tracks the birth of this ideal nation in the burning imagination of the young settler Henry Jackson, who took the name Honoré Jaxon after his encounter with Riel's vision.
Commissioned by Edward Poitras as a text for dancers, Tim Lilburn's poem gives voice and body to Riel's prescient metaphysics.
University of Regina Press, 2018.
ISBN: 9780889775305. 72 pp.