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

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University of California Press, Dec 13, 1999 - Poetry - 461 pages
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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Contents

III
3
IV
28
V
60
VI
116
VII
141
VIII
168
IX
194
XI
227
XII
277
XIII
313
XIV
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XV
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XVII
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XVIII
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XIX
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Page xxiii - And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field.

About the author (1999)

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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