Sing with the Heart of a Bear: Fusions of Native and American Poetry, 1890-1999 / Edition 1

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Examining contemporary poetry by way of ethnicity and gender, Kenneth Lincoln tracks the Renaissance invention of the Wild Man and the recurrent Adamic myth of the lost Garden. He discusses the first anthology of American
Indian verse, The Path on the Rainbow (1918), which opened Jorge Luis Borges' university surveys of American literature, to thirty-five contemporary
Indian poets who speak to, with, and against American mainstream bards. From Whitman's free verse, through the Greenwich Village Renaissance (sandwiched between the world wars) and the post-apocalyptic Beat incantations, to transglobal questions of tribe and verse at the century's close, Lincoln shows where we mine the mother lode of New World voices, what distinguishes American verse, which tales our poets sing and what inflections we hear in the rhythms, pitches, and parsings of native lines.

Lincoln presents the Lakota concept of "singing with the heart of a bear" as poetry which moves through an artist. He argues for a fusion of estranged cultures, tribal and émigré, margin and mainstream, in detailing the ethnopoetics of Native American translation and the growing modernist concern for a "native" sense of the "makings" of American verse. This fascinating work represents a major new effort in understanding American and Native American literature, spirituality, and culture.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520218901
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 12/13/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 461
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Kenneth Lincoln is Professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of A Writer's China (1999), Men Down West (1997),
Indi'n Humor
(1993), The Good Red Road: Passages into Native America (1987), and Native American Renaissance (1983).

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Table of Contents

Preface: Cultural Fusions
I At the Forest's Edge
1 Native Poetics 3
2 Aboriginal American Texts 28
3 Indian Poetry in Our Time 60
4 Native American Verses 116
II Modern Shamans
5 Mythic Mothers 141
Dickinson's Privilege to Die 141
Moore's Determinate IT 154
Plath: Ms. Raw 162
6 Adamic Savages 168
Berryman's Blues 168
Re/newing Things: Ezra Pound 179
It is an identifiable thing 186
7 Reimagining the Garden 194
Stevens's Earthy Angels 194
A Canticle for Theodore Roethke 217
8 Seer, Shaman, Clown 227
Old Songs Made New: Momaday 240
Blackfeet Surrealist: Welch 255
Futurist Hip Indian: Alexie 267
III Tribal Sibyls
9 Blood Sisters 277
Athapaskan Emigre: TallMountain 282
Children and Exiles: Crow Dog and Whiteman 288
Women Weaving Stories: McKay 302
Navajo Home Codes: Tapahonso 306
10 Millennial Women 313
Split Tongues: Gregg and Graham 322
Primal Mom: Olds 330
11 Mixed Rebirth 341
Listen and Speak: Hogan 344
Sax Dance Stick: Harjo 359
12 A Terrible Innocence: Forche 371
Afterword: The Bear's Tail 401
Selected Bibliography 411
Index 427
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