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Survey of American Literature

by: Mr. Roy Denesik

Survey of American Literature ENGL 343

Marketplace > University of Idaho > Foreign Language > ENGL 343 > Survey of American Literature
Mr. Roy Denesik
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Date Created: 10/23/15
1930 Katherine Anne Porter Flowering Judasquot Dorothy Parker More Wait 193139 15 E Cummings 1 sing of one glad and my F Scott Fitzgerald Babylon Revisitedquot 1932 Black on and john G Neibardtz v Black 1311 Speaks Sterling A Brown He we a Man39 1934 William Carlos Williams quotThis Is Inn to Sayquot 1936 Ernest Hemingway The Snows of Kilimanjaro Genevieve Taggard For Eager Loversquot 1937 Thomas Wolfe The Lost Boyquot 1938 john Dos Passes U SA William Faulkner quotBarn Burning 1939 Richard Wright The Man Who Was Almost a Manquot 39 John Steinbeck The Grapes of Wrath 1940 Eugene O Neill 1mg Du39y sjournzy ima th t 1944 Muriel Rukeyser Suicide Bluesquot 1930 Sinclair Lewis is rst American to win Nobel Prize for literature 1931 Scottsbom trial 1932 Franklin Delano Roosevelt39s quotNew Dealquot introduces social security welfare and unemployment insurance I933 Adolf Hitler s Nationalist Socialist Nazi party comes to power in Germany 39 18111 Amendment repealed 3 WheelerHoward Indian Reorganization Act passed ending Dawes em 1936 Hitler begins armed occupation of Europe 1936 39 Spanish Civil War US volunteers among those ghting agamst neml Franco who becomes dictator of Spain 1937 Stalin s purgES 1939 45 World War ll the Holocaust 1941 apan bombs Pearl Harbor Hawaii o United States enters war against japan and its allies Germany and Italy I942 President Roosevelt orders intemmenl of Japanese Americans in camps 1944 D Day Allied invasion of Normandy 1945 German forces surrender in spring japan surrenders in August following explosion of two nuclear bombs over japanese cities 5 WM W lUlS BLACK ELK 1863 1950 JOHN G NEIHARDT 1881 1973 Nicholas Black Elk an Oglala Lakota was born on the Little Powder River Although every traditionally raised Lakota male engaged in a vision quest hanble ceyapi lit 1 u r r era y crying for a Vision a search for spiritual guidance in his life Black Elk was horse dance enacted instead Once this had been done Black Elk began to practice as a Shamanic healer Some four years earlier in 1876 although he was to o young to ght Black Elk had witnessed the defeat of General George A Custer and his Seventh Cavalry on joined Buffalo Bill s Wild West Show in 1886 traveling to New York39s Madison S re 39 a d 39h 1 to quotl v re ormed for the Goldenjubilee of Queen Victoria39s reign By that time Black Elk had become an Episcopalian for tunate in that the Wild West Show required all its Native American employees to be Christians 1 Black Elk returned home in time to encounter the Ghost Dance movement at Pine Ridge Skeptical at rst he eventually came to understand the Ghost Dance to be Catholic at Holy Rosary Mission on December 6 1904 the feast of St Nicholas at which time he took that saint s name He never engaged in traditional healing pracv tices again In August 1930 John G Neihardt poet laureate of Nebraska on a trip to research material for the nal volume of his epic poem A Cycle afthe West drove up to Black Elk39s cabin outside of Mande rson South Dakota With Neihardt were his son Sigurd has put it Neihardt perceived Black Elk s religion in terms of art Black Elk perceived Neihardt39s art in terms of religion Although Black Elk was by then a Catholic cat him In Neihardt he believed he had found one who could make that vision known to the world In May 1931 Neihardt again visited Black Elk with him now were his two daugh ters Hilda and Enid the latter Was an accomplished stenographer The two men began work at day break on May 10 Serving as interpreter was Black Elk s son Ben who had studied for a time at the Carlisle Indian School As was the custom when any warrior gave his kill talksquot coup talesquot recounting brave deeds in war con temporaries of Black Elk the elders Fire Thunder Standing Bear Chase in the Mom ing and Holy Black Tail Deer were present to listen and to comment on his narration Black Elk told the story of his life in Lakota Ben translated into the dialect called 1088 BLACK ELK AND JOHN G NEIHARDT Red Englishquot or Indian English Neihardt repeated Ben39s words in standard English and Enid wrote it all down as best 5 e coul It was on the basis of a number of such sessions that Neihardt produced the book known as Black Elk Speaks 1932 Black Elk said little about his Catholicism and Neihardt chose not to mention it at all Neihardt also edited the great vision mini mizing its concern for the achievement of power in warfare a central concern of Lakota males in DeMallie s words once more to develop the universalistic message of the vision focusing on the powers to healquot The beginning and en ingquot of the book Neihardt himself acknowledged are mine they are what Black Elk would have said if he had been ablequot The ending an account of Neihardt and Black Elk s trip to Hamey Peak the center of the worldquot of Black Elk s admission of his failure to restore the sacred hoop and make the tree bloomquot again and of Black Elk s uncanny power nonetheless to bring rain has had widespread in uence It has appeared in only slightly different form as the ending to Thomas Berger s novel Little Big Man 1964 and in recognizable but very different form in Arthur Penn39s lm of the same name 1970 But again this ending is Neihardt39s not Black Elk39s Although Black Elk Speaks was favorably reviewed at the time of its publication it attracted little attention This was not the case shortly after its reissue in 1961 om that point forward as anthropologist William Powers has written When Black Elk Speaks everybody listensquot Although it is Powers s View along with several others that Neihardt s own strong mystical Christianity obscures Lakota religion rather than presenting it accurately the eminent Lakota scholar Vine DeLoria Jr to the contrary thinks that is not the issue at all Rather for DeLoria Neihardt has produced in Black Elk Speaks a religious classic a North American bible of all tribesquot In any case BlackElkSpeulrsissurelythe I f P39 39 39 V 1 39 ha u been translated into German French Portuguese Italian Russian and Hungarian Neihardt interviewed Black Elk again in 1944 incorporating this new material into the novel When the Tree Flmvered 1951 Black Elk also engaged in a series of interviews with Joseph Epes Brown in the late 19405 Brown s bookThe Sacred Pipe appeared in 1953 The selection reprinted here is the complete text of The Great Vision Chapter 3 of Black Elk Speaks In addition to explanatory information the notes provide some supplementary material from Raymond DeMallie s The Sixth Grandfather which presents in full the notes of the interviews the direct words of Black Elk as inter preted into Englishquot by Neihardt39s daughters Enid and Hilda who acted as stenog rapher and secretary respectively As DeMallie writes these are the most original records of Black Elk39s teachings available and they are the sources from which Nei hardt wrote Black Elk Speaksquot They should allow the reader some closer approach to Black Elk himself as they should also allow some greater awareness of the nature of Neihardt s art From Black Elk Speaks Ill The Great Vision What happened after that until the summer I was nine years old is not a story There were winters and summers and they were good for the Wasi chus had made their iron road2 along the Platte and traveled there This had cut the bison herd in two but those that stayed in our countrywith us were more than could be counted and we wandered without trouble in our land 2 The Union Paci c Railwayquot Neihardl s note Wasichus fat carers La ta 1mm trans ie white settlers or those who take the but part 1 A brief vision experienced by Black Elk when he was ve years a that was mentioned at t c end of the preceding chapter BLACK ELK SPEAKS 1089 we saw and we were warriors at a ti in his tepee OWhiII I was eating a voice came and s y u e vorce was so loud and clear that I believed it When we had cam ed 39 fath I again I was lying in our te 6 two szfeslttmg besrde me I could see out througllJtlieagclernnilnm izler and and I knew tr coming from the clouds head rst like arrovpvs sl gi39an there ey were the same that I had seen before 4 Each dlvi cls ding me a was very light I went om Id egs did not hurt me any more and I H I S e the tepee and onde 5ng pzars were going a little cloud was cdlmingrvzvryheihesttllet men Wlth Whe I lozketppik me Iand tlt rirned back to where it came from yinch 13123 own co 7 as sorry to be haying tl1em39u see my mother and my father yonder and I felt Then there was nothin g but the air and the swift puzzliiblpl 2 those two 131611 still leading up to W ShiieclldiiZSdOUd arms on a 39 39 39 were and leaped and aShed wr e blue plain and in them thunder beings lived 3 The Little Big Horn R 39 439 I t iver Neihardt39s note quotor n the Vision Black Elk had had four years lar ns m the wesbefrriliim39l39nhlfmdmr those Cloud up 5 In DeMallie39s transcri deem ha i h 4 n H eings Nej an I quoton 13th Elk 1 sizes t e importance of the mm quotYour Grand er is Hing youtlf the fearful Thunder beings in Black 52193239 0f 1090 BLACK ELK AND JOHN G NEIHARDT 39 of cloud and we three were thgzvdlzldidifinlhedigddl3121g igegi 312w2gn3 yi land moun taiThEhallgtisouigludtlgkleafogltlh ahd they said Behold him the being rigged a militiafhixnteizzeizslsskz 113 illlifellrlenflfle 3115 ddzvliondszgldtx Behold them Their history you shall 0w k 1 nd there were twelve black horses yonder all abreast grit 2315 1100feb39ldln hoofs and they were beautiful but l39was frightene lacgs o ls ere lightning and there was thunder in their nostn s11 north the manes w h wheeled to where the great white giant lives t eb The thf bay 1quotan onder there were twelve white horses all a reas BehOI e flowinlg like a blizzard wind and from their noses came a hines continually the east h l d round to where the sun 5 I my Ehljndthinlleallovdkfd there twelve sorrel horses Withdneclllasspieansl Eeth lasiood abrezist with eyes that glimmered like the ay re 39 139 ht ma lllllzrfftllzobgynghlegeled once again to look ulionbthekfllaicegal1231ygiiwaiigfl th and yonder stood twe ve uc ns I always faclllflfdliehsgds dhd manes that lived and grew like trees Zigdt l39eisssaee hozlflsdquV en I had seen all these the bay horse said Your Gran a h 39 a council These shall take you so have courage d blaCks the anfEn all the horses went into formation Ion adbrtii the bay Who 39 1 nd the buckskins an s 00 b1 thrlrizsd ntdl thug vslle and neighed and yondler sugder lylthzvgvvtistileEune u 39 39 ll colors t at s 00 c with a storm of plunging horses in a delNdlvelllglill39rrlignlgat bkthe north the bay horse whinn39iled 1and yo gll treeksky 39 39 wind of running horses in a co ors n I mirefd Willelnahlglvghhizmed to the east there too the sky was II c pitrglpmr g l dsvdf manes and tails of horses in all colors Singl lgh ac horses niCk C illth he called and it was crowded with many colore appy so I ll enng39s 39 d said See how your horses a h s oke to me again an h 1 Eed ahllzjrlng lzl 125 and there were horses horses everywhere a w o e co 39 un me I I Skl lful if hlfdssg llfh SEEynhorse said and we walked togetlfielii SideilzlryI whillvdathee blacks the whites the sorrels and the buckskins o owe I h t mg lzldkrd ifth me once again and suddenly dthe dai ipitn gel gi slesstygt r als of every kind an into a nudlll39leds21flrdghgclllfg filleuflour quarters of the world from whence the horses an came and vanished 39 d thus long life 39 39 7 Symbols of durability an ficall associatedwlth theThun n d m fl39erilllfgghllptel cololotdlthculrybut also 0221 similar an I to triumph over dif culty Successful mm quot r M races black ckeringquot are Neihardt39s addi BLACK ELK SPEAKS 1091 Then as we walked there was a heaped up cloud ahead that changed into a tepee and a rainbow9 was the open door of it and through the door I saw six old men sitting in a row The two men with the spears now stood beside me one on either hand and the horses took their places in their quarters looking inward four by four And the oldest of the Grandfathers spoke with a kind voice and said quotCome right in and do not fear And as he spoke all the horsas of the four quarters neighed to cheer me So I went in and stood before the six and they looked older than men can ever be old like hills like stars1 The oldest spoke again Your Grandfathers all over the world are having a council and they have called you here to teach you His voice was very kind but I shook all over with fear now for I knew that these were not old men but the Powers of the World And the rst was the Power of the West the second of the North the third of the East the fourth of the South the fth of the Sky the sixth of the Earth I knew this and was afraid until the rst Grandfather spoke again Behold them yonder where the sun goes down the thunder beings You shall see and have from them my power2 and they shall take you to the high and lonely center of the earth that you may see even to the place where the sun continually shines they shall take you there to understand And as he spoke of understanding I looked up and saw the rainbow leap with ames of many colors over me Now there was a wooden cup in his hand and it was full of water and in the water was the s quotTake this he said It is the power to make live and it is yoursquot Now he had a bow in his hands Take this he said It is the power to destroy and it is yoursquot Then he pointed to himself and said Look close at him who is your spirit now for you are his body and his name is Eagle Wing Stretches And saying this he got up very tall and started running toward where the sun goes down and suddenly he was a black horse that stopped and turned and looked at me and the horse was very poor and sick his ribs stood out Then the second Grandfather he of the North arose with a herb of power in his hand and said Take this and hurryquot I took and held it toward the black horse yonder He fattened and was happy and came prancing to his place again and was the rst Grandfather sitting there The second Grandfather he of the North spoke again Take courage younger brother he said on earth a nation you shall make live for yours shall be the power of the white giant s wing the cleansing windquot Then he got up very tall and started running toward the north and when he turned toward me it was a white goose wheeling I looked about me now and the horses in the west were thunders and the horses of the north were geese3 And the second Grandfather sang two songs that were like this 9 Symbol of the Thunder beings second Grandfather to be saying that he will cre 1 Older than men like starsquot is Neihardt39s addition herb thus causing the people to cry joyfully as 2 Literally tawaci39n will powerquotwhich forthe 39 39 cm is the creative werof a mind made wise after the hard winter has passed adapted from b cans of a vision a power that can be used on DeMnllie s note earth adapted from DeMolliz s note 4 Black Elk attributes the first song to the rst 3 Neilmdt has much condensed this section In Grandfather of the west The Sixth Grandfather Black Elk understand the 1092 BLACK ELK AND JOHN G NEIHARDT They are appearing may you behold They are appearing may you behold The thunder nation is appearing behold They are appearing may you behold They are appearing may you behold The white geese nation is appearing behold And now it was the third Grandfather who spoke he of where the sun shines continually Take courage younger brotherquot he said for across the earth they shall take you Then he pointed to where the daybreak star was shining and beneath the star two men were flying From them you shall have powerquot he said from them who have awakened all the beings of the earth with roots and legs and wingsquot And as he said this he held in his hand a peace pipe which had a spotted eagle outstretched upon the stem and this eagle seemed alive for it was poised there uttering and its eyes were look ing at me quotWith this pipequot the Grandfather said quotyou shall walk upon the earth and whatever sickens there you shall make well Then he pointed to a man who was bright red all over the color of good and of plenty and as he pointed the red man lay down and rolled and changed into a bison that got up and galloped toward the sorrel horses of the east and they too turned to bison fat and many And now the fourth Grandfather spoke he of the place where you are always facing the south whence comes the power to grow Younger brotherquot he said with the powers of the four quarters you shall walk a relative Behold the living center of a nation I shall give you and with it many you shall save And I saw that he was holding in his hand a bright red stick that was alive and as I looked it sprouted at the top and sent forth branches and on the branches many leaves came out and murmured and in the leaves the birds began to sing And then for just a little while I thought I saw beneath it in the shade the circled villages of people and every living thing with roots or legs or wings and all were happy It shall stand in the center of the nation s circlequot said the Grandfather a cane to walk with and a people39s heart and by your powers you shall make it blossom Then when he had been still a little while to hear the birds sing he spoke again Behold the earthquot So I looked down and saw it lying yonder like a hoop of peoples and in the center bloomed the holy stick that was a tree and where it stood there crossed two roads a red one and a black From where the giant lives the north to where you always face the south the red road goes the road of goodquot the Grandfather said and on it shall your nation walk The black road goes from where the thunder beings live the west to where the sun continually shines the east a fearful road a road of troubles and of war On this also you shall walk and from it you shall have the power to destroy a people s foes In four ascents you shall walk the earth with power I think he meant that I should see four generations counting me and now I am seeing the third 5 J 39L L b T quot quot 39 seems fairly Imtroubled he says and with health 6 This is Neihardt39s interpretation Black Elk s from north to south power From east to west I have power to destroy and goodquot BLACK ELK SPEAKS 1093 Ihen he rose Ve ta H S a e 111 In 0W r E sou an was an I y ll a d nn th d t t d g t a d th elk and as he stood among the buckskms yonder they too were NOW the lth Grandfather S oke the oldest of them a the m f t e P l Sp t 0 h Slis hair was long and white his fac lifprgdhdirr7 I stared at him for it seemed I knew him somehow When h 139lgdsbowly changed for he was growing backwards into yodth a d wmdd be mi ecome a l ioy I knew that he was myself with all the years th t courage for ne at last When he was old again he said My bo ha on the h my power shall be yours and you shall need it for o y a He reart 31 have great troubles Come 9 y r nation I ose an tottered out through the rain was riding on the bay horse who had talked to 1 dtogry and as I fouowed I p ace 3 rst and led me to that Then the bay horse sto t n pped and faced the black h 3210 Saudi They have given you the cup of water to TlfedfiJE we and a y an a so the bow and arrow to destroy The bay neighed and the tweIV l 6 good red dayquot Th b 39 four abreast e ay neighed and the twelve sorrels stood beh Milly Iler no 1 faced the buckskins of the south and a voice said39 Th and ilg thn you t e sacred stick and your nation s hoop and the ello d e a Shieldi gczreiieraplfd t1 hoop gohu slhall set the stick and make izlgrovV irftll oom 39 came anldksrfood behind me four bre Ztllmghed and the malve buCkSkmS en ew that there were riders on all I 4 u the ho th 39 a vorce said Now you shall walk the black road Wilhefheseealrlhdorllewalkd 7 3 uquot I O n D 1 D P E On 1 W t 2 2 Q r 5quot I m I m a n g F Dquot O I fearful d 39 f gg zrssebacllirsffour abreast the blacks the whit tffe id ggd323 an thing very dim ar away above the fearful road the daybreak star was I looked below me where the I earth was silent in a k 1 3 lull l00k up afraid and the grasses on the hillsslacndgalllethehgh t aIlla eem ere about me were the cries of frightened birds and samrdka sf 100k g mg I was the chief of all the heavens riding there andle 0I n me all the twelve black horses reared and plunged and tl39ftlln 739 quotW 4 n pkles and deep and dim are Neihardt39s addition nddido 839 W n 9 Bl k th II the years It In I Nelhardquot hand cspeEallf hizhy lili lg l l39fldquot his 1094 BLACK ELK AND JOHN G NEIHARDT dered and their manes and tails were whirling hail and their nostrils snorted lightning And when I looked below again I saw the slant hail falling and the long sharp rain and where we passed the trees bowed low and all the hills were dim Now the earth was bright again as we rode I could see the hills and valleys and the creeks and rivers passing under We came above a place where three streams made a big oneJ a source of mighty waters and something terrible was there Flames were rising from the waters and in the ames a blue man lived The dust was oating all about him in the air the grass was short and withered the trees were wilting twolegged and fourlegged beings lay there thin and panting and wings too weak to y Then the black horse riders shouted Hoka heyquot and charged down upon the blue man but were driven back And the white troop shouted charging and was beaten then the red troop and the yellow And when each had failed they all cried together Eagle Wing Stretches hurry quot And all the world was lled with voices of all kinds that cheered me so I charged I had the cup of water in one hand and in the other was the bow that turned into a spear as the bay and I swooped down and the spear s head was sharp lightning It stabbed the blue man s heart and as it struckI could hear the thunder rolling and many voices that cried Unheelquot mean ing I had killed The ames died The trees and grasses were not withered any more and murmured happily together and every living being cried in gladness with whatever voice it had Then the four troops of horsemen charged down and struck the dead body of the blue man counting coup and suddenly it was only a harmless turtle2 You see I had been riding with the storm clouds and had come to earth as rain and it was drouth that I had killed with the power that the Six Grandfathers gave me So we were riding on the earth now down along the river owing full from the source of waters and soon I saw ahead the circled village of a people in the valley And a Voice said Behold a nation it is yours Make haste Eagle Wing Stretchesquot I entered the village riding with the four horse troops behind me the blacks the whites the sorrels and the buckskins and the place was lled with moaning and with mourning for the dead The wind was blowing from the south like fever and when I looked around I saw that in nearly every tepee the women and the children and the men lay dying with the dead So I rode around the circle of the village looking in upon the sick and dead and I felt like crying as I rode But when I looked behind me all the women and the children and the men were getting up and coming forth with happy faces And a Voice said Behold they have given you the center of the nation s hoop to make it livequot So I rode to the center of the village with the horse troops in their quarters round about me and there the people gathered And the Voice said Give them now the owering stick that they may ourish and the sacred pipe 1 This section is much condensed It is after sev and a benefactor of humankind something more eral isth on quota manquot who is sai to be the than quotonly a harmless turtlequot Black Elk interprets enemyquot that a man painted bluequot emerges from 39s l to mean that sometime in the future he L T I x Lm quot e r 7 W n mII LThunderbe ngs BLACK ELK SPEAKS 1095 that they may know the power that is eace a d th 39 39 thzgt tiiey may have endurance and fade all widlds vv itthcnogu0f ths39Whlte glam I 0 took the bright red stick and at the center of th 39mge as li 39 ttle chickens under the mother sheo s4 wingquot Then I heard the White wi 39 nd bl there and from the east the sacrelel ng gently through the tree and Singing faces to the east and the star 5 l ht f I loudly and the horses whinnied1g e 1 upon them 1811 When he man llttle VOICES ceased the reat Volc s d f y g e ar Behold the little children and the youth Second came the tribe s four and women I as we went the Voice behind me said in a sacred manner in a good land Then I looked up and saw that th Behold a good nation walking 3 Ihe cottonwood39 Neihardts te as t was a so the center 0 e for the she Da cg I no A cotton 39 n p wood Is Used as the center po e for the Sun Dance 4 Prairie hen iNeihardt39 nnle s 1096 BLACK ELK AND JOHN G NEIHARDT circle as before and in the center stood the holy tree and still the land about us was all green Then we started on the second ascent marching as before and still the land was green but it was getting steeper And as I looked ahead the people changed into elks and bison and all fourfooted beings and even into fowls all walking in a sacred manner on the good red road together And I myself was a spotted eagle soaring over them But just before we stopped to camp at the end of that ascent all the marching animals grew restless and afraid that they Were not what they had been and began sending forth voices of trouble calling to their chiefs And when they camped at the end of that ascent I looked down and saw that leaves were falling from the holy tree And the Voice said Behold your nation and remember what your Six Grandfathers gave you for thenceforth your people walk in dif cultiesquot Then the people broke camp again and saw the black road before them towards where the sun goes down and black clouds coming yonder and they did not want to go but could not stay And as they walked the third ascent all the animals and fowls that were the people ran here and there for each one seemed to have his own little vision that he followed and his own rules and all over the universe I could hear the winds at war like wild beasts ghting And when we reached the summit of the third ascent and camped the nation s hoop was broken like a ring of smoke that spreads and scatters and the holy tree seemed dying and all its birds were gone And when I looked ahead I saw that the fourth ascent would be terrible Then when the people were getting ready to begin the fourth ascent the Voice spoke like some one weeping and it said Look there upon your nationquot And when I looked down the people were all changed back to human and they were thin their faces sharp for they were starving Their ponies were only hide and bones and the holy tree was gone And as I looked and wept I saw that there stood on the north side of the starving camp a sacred man who was painted red all over his body and he held a spear as he walked into the center of the people and there he lay down and rolled And when he got up it was a fat bison standing there and where the bison stood a sacred herb sprang up right where the tree had been in the center of the nation39s hoop The herb grew and bore four blos soms on a single stem while I was looking a blue 3 white a scarlet and a yellow and the bright rays of these flashed to the heavens I know now what this meant that the bison were the gift of a good spirit and were our strength but we should lose them and from the same good spirit we must nd another strength For the people all seemed better when the herb had grown and bloomed and the horses raised their tails and neighed and pranced around and I could see a light breeze going from the north among the people like a ghost and suddenly the owering tree was there again at the center of the nation s hoop where the fourrayed herb had blossomed I was still the spotted eagle oating and I could see that I was already in the fourth ascent and the people Were camping yonder at the top of the third 5 Neihardt39s addition he also added sacred to the description of the redpainted man above BLACK ELK SPEAKS 1097 long rise It was dark and terrible about me for all were ghting It was like rapid gun re and like wlii rlirfglztfrloltfetlaeridv women and children wailing and like horses screaming all over the world I could see my people yonder running about setting the smoke a ol and fastening down their tepees against the wind for the storm clo dnwes coming on them very fast and black and there were frightened swall as mtrhkput number ffleeing before the cloud 0W5 en a son 0 ower cam 39 39 i terrible place ahefje I was Itevvfnflliknfliilssang It there m the mIdSt Of that A good nation I will make live This the nation above has said They have given me the power to make over And when I had sung this a Voice s 39 I aid To the four uarters o h 11 forNhelpi and nothingb shall be strong before you Behdqld himquot u s a run ow was on my ay horse again because the horse is of p the earth 1 was there my power would be used And as I obeyed the Voice and lodlfrild Egg vjigasda lyr39se alll skin arid bones yonder in the west a faded brownish n a 0ice t ere sai Take this and make him over39 a d 39t Iflourrayerl herlb tha ti I was holding in my hand So I rode abzveltffeaiabl orse in a circ e an as I did this I could hear the i peo le onder call f splilriti power Ahey ahey ahey aheyquot Then the pDEr hlbrse neighexdgarfd ro e hand got up and he was a big shiny black stallion with dapples all plver irn and his mane about him like a cloud He was the chief of all the 153 and when he ILinoirte it was a ash of lightning and his eyes were sunse star e as ed to the west and neighed and the W Y t lled with a dust of hoofs and horses without number shiny blackescavivffes p ur gmg from the dust Then he dashed toward the north and neighed and ti t eeast and to the south and the dust clouds answered giving forth their 1glng horses Wiihou1 number whites and sorrels and buckskins fat y re 01cm 39 t 39 39 39 y was alsoiterribgein eir eetness and their strength It was beautiful but it Then they all stopped short rearin I I g and were standin in t h about their black chief at the center and were still And a the sgtrESd fig virgins more beautiful than women of the earth can be came through the c rc e dressed in scarlet one from each of the four quarters and stood about t 2 great black stallion in their places and one held the wooden cup of water an one the white Wing and one the pipe and one the nation s hoop All the universe was silent listening and then the great black stallion raised hi vorce and sang The song he sang was this S u My horses prancmg they are coming My horses neighing they are coming Prancing they are coming All over the universe they come They Will dance may you behold them 4 times 6 Neihardt omits passages concerned with ames lightning a killing a dog spirit that is white on one side and black on the milithunder and in Pamwlaquot mm Ems 1098 BLACK ELK AND JOHN G NEIHARDT A horse nation they will dance May you behold themquot 4 times His voice was not loud but it went all over the universe and lled it7 There was nothing that did not hear and it was more beautiful than anything can be It was so beautiful that nothing anywhere could keep from dancing The virgins danced and all the circled horses The leaves on the trees the grasses on the hills and in the valleys the waters in the creeks and in the rivers and the lakes the fourlegged and the two legged and the wings of the air all danced together to the music of the stallion39s song And when I looked down upon my people yonder the cloud passed over blessing them with friendly rain and stood in the east with a aming rainbow over it Then all the horses went singing back to their places beyond the summit of the fourth ascent and all things sang along with them as they walked And a Voice said All over the universe they have nished a day of hap pinessquot And looking down I saw that the whole wide circle of the day was beautiful and green with all fruits growing and all things kind and happy Then a Voice said Behold this day for it is yours to make Now you shall stand upon the center of the earth to see for there they are taking youquot I was still on my bay horse and once more I felt the riders of the west the north the east the south behind me in formation as before and we were going east I looked ahead and saw the mountains there with rocks and forests on them and from the mountains ashed all colors upward to the heavens Then I was standing on the highest mountain of them all and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops that made one circle wide as daylight and as starlight and in the center grew one mighty owering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father And I saw that it was holy Then as I stood there two men were coming from the east head first like arrows ying and between them rose the daybreak star They came and gave a herb to me and said With this on earth you shall undertake anything and do itquot It was the daybreak star herb the herb of understanding and they told me to drop it on the earth I saw it falling far and when it struck the earth it rooted and grew and owered four blossoms on one stem a blue a white a scarlet and a yellow and the rays from these streamed upward to the heavens so that all creatures saw it and in no place was there darkness Then the Voice said Your Six Grandfathers now you shall go back to themquot9 I had not noticed how I was dressed until now and I saw that I was painted red all over and my joints were painted black with white stripes between 7 What Black Elk actually said was The horse39s who are sick He interprets this as probably the voice Went over e universe like a in and white people com quot mg everyone heard it emphasis added 9 Here Neihnrd omits a lengthy section in which 8 Neihnrdtndds the 39t L heav 39 39 L I u cm x L m Lquot Inr inl 39l I I r J r BLACK ELK SPEAKS 1099 the joints My bay had lightning stripes all over him and his mane was cloud And when I breathed my breath was lightning Now two men were leading me head rst like arrows slanting upward the two that brought me from the earth And as I followed on the bay they turned into four ocks of geese that ew in circles one above each quarter sending forth a sacred voice as they ew Brr rp brrr p br rrp brrrpl Then I saw ahead the rainbow aming above the tepee of the Six Grande fathers built and roofed with cloud and sewed with thongs of lightning and underneath it were all the wings of the air and under them the animals and men All these were rejoicing and thunder was like happy laughter As I rode in through the rainbow door there were cheering voices from all over the universe and I saw the Six Grandfathers sitting in a row with their arms held toward me and their hands palms out and behind them in the cloud were faces thronging without number of the people yet to be He has triumphed cried the six together making thunder And as I passed before them there each gave again the gift that he had given me before the cup of water and the bow and arrows the power to make live and to destroy the white wing of cleansing and the healing herb the sacred pipe the owering stick And each one spoke in turn from west to south explaining what he gave as he had done before and as each one spoke he melted down into the earth and rose again and as each did this I felt nearer to the earth Then the oldest of them all said Grandson all over the universe you have seen Now you shall go back with power to the place from whence you came and it shall happen yonder that hundreds shall be sacred hundreds shall be ames Behold I looked below and saw my people there and all were well and happy except one and he was lying like the dead and that one was myself Then the oldest Grandfathcr sang and his song was like this There is someone lying on earth in a sacred manner There is someone on earth he lies In a sacred manner I have made him to walk Now the tepee built and roofed with cloud began to sway back and forth as in a Wind and the aming rainbow door was growing dimmer I could hear vorces of all kinds crying from outside Eagle Wing Stretches is coming forth Behold himquot When I went through the door the face of the day of earth was appearing With the daybreak star upon its forehead and the sun leaped up and looked upon me and I was going forth alone hAnd as I walked alone I heard the sun singing as it arose and it sang like t is With visible face I am appearing In a sacred manner 1100 EDGAR LEE MASTERS The center of the nation s hoop I have made pleasant With visible face behold me The four leggeds and twoleggeds I have made them to walk The wings of the air I have made them to y With visible face I appear My day I have made it holy 2 When the singing stopped I was feeling lost and very lonely Then aVoice above me said Look back It was 3 spotted eagle that was hovering over me and spoke I looked and where the aming rainbow tepee built and roofed with cloud had been I saw only the tall rock mountain at the center of the World I was all alone on a broad plain now with my feet upon the earth alone but for the spotted eagle guarding me I could see my people39s village far ahead and I walked very fast for I was homesick now Then I saw my own tepee and inside I saw my mother and my father bending over a sick boy that was myself And as I entered the tepee some one was saying The boy is coming to you had better give him some waterquot Then I was sitting up and l was sad because my mother and my father didn39t seem to know I had been so far away 1 9 3 2 2 This song does not appear at this point in the some medicine but it was not that that cured me transcript it was my vision that cured me 3 Here Black Elk says They were giving me EDGAR LEE MASTERS 1868 1950 Few books of poetry published in the United States have had an immediate impact like that of Spoon River Anthology Its lack of rhyme and Verse its rough at unpoetic diction its forthright presentation of private yet ordinary lives its representation of sex as a basic human motive and its deeply critical view of smalltown values these traits of the volume ran counter to public expectations of what poetry should be like But controversy was good for sales the book went through nineteen printings in its rst edition 3 record for poetry up until then Edgar Lee Masters was practicing law in Chicago at the time of its publication in 1915 He was born in Kansas and grew up in two small Illinois towns Peters urg and Lewiston His father was a lawyer and politician his mother a lover of music and literature homesick for her native New England Masters attended Knox College in Galesburg Illinois for a year and then studied law in his father s of ce He passed his bar exams quot J L a profession to please hisfather L 39 39 with both parents when he moved to Chicago in 1891 In Chicago Masters met many of the writers and intellectuals involved in the Chicago Renaissance a movement aiming to make the city a cultural center He Worked with Harriet Monroe editor of Poetry A Magazine of Verse an important little I quotan m nulslicl i nnpfl39v of his nwn A friend William Marion TRAINOR THE DRUGGIST 1101 of W Mackail s Selected Epigrams from the Greek Anthology In this collection of some four thousand short poems written between 700 BCE and 1000 cE Masters found interconnected autobiographical poems where the speaker in one poem talked bluntly about speakers in other poems This structure showed Masters how to give poetic shape to a naturalistic vision more commonly associated with ction All the speakers in Spoon River Anthology are dead buried in the cemetery on the hillquot which is the title of the rst poem in the book All all are sleeping on the hillquot These lifelong friends and neighbors continue their loves and quarrels beyond the grave Their dissonant voices converge in a lament for suppressed and wasted lives only rarely varied by joy or gusto Sex has driven them but given little pleasure They long for the sympathy that they withhold from each other Yet the poems as a group are compassionate not judgmental Masters s dramatic sense his ability to condense and convey a whole life through the narration of one incident contributed to the craft of the short story as well as to a new sense of what poetry might consist of His work was immediate inspiration for hostile depictions of smalltown and smallminded America in the work of I920s writers like Sherwood Anderson and Sinclair Lewis None of Masters s many other books of verse except the sequel The New Spoon River in 1924 attained the repu tation of Spoon River Anthology He was however a proli c writer in other modes He composed several novels biographies of Abraham Lincoln Vachel Lindsay the Chicago poet Walt Whitman and Mark Twain and his own autobiography Across Spoon River in 19 In all he wrote more than fty books committing himself after the success of Spoon River Anthology to a fulltime literary career He married twice and had four children He gave up the law left Chicago and settled in New York City in 1920 living in later life at the Chelsea Hotel a favorite residence for writers The text of the poems included here is that of Spoon River Anthology 1915 Serepta Mason My life39s blossom might have bloomed on all sides Save for a bitter wind which stunted my petals On the side of me which you in the village could see From the dust I lift a voice of protest My owering side you never saw 5 Ye living ones ye are fools indeed Who do not know the ways of the wind And the unseen forces That govern the processes of life 1915 Trainer the Druggist Only the chemist can tell and not always the chemist What will result from compounding Fluids or solids d who can tell


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