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Book Cover
Author Nolan, James, 1947-

Title Poet-chief : the Native American poetics of Walt Whitman and Pablo Neruda / James Nolan
Edition First edition
Published Albuquerque, N.M. : University of New Mexico Press, [1994]
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (270 pages)
Contents Introduction: Ancestor-Continents: American and Americano -- Ch. 1. Influence and Inheritance -- Ch. 2. Foreign Words and Indian Corn -- Ch. 3. Ritual Speech: I, the Song -- Ch. 4. This Ecstatic Nation: Tribe, Mask, and Voice -- Ch. 5. The Vertical Voyage: "The Sleepers" and "Alturas de Macchu Picchu" -- Epilogue: Ghost Dance
Summary A long-overdue comparative study of the American voice in hemispheric poetry, Poet-Chief brings cross-cultural and interdisciplinary considerations to the work of Whitman and Neruda. Nolan proposes American Indian poetics as the model for the poets' own poetics. Whitman and Neruda wrote from an Americanist perspective. Both developed an oral, tribal poetics and assumed shamanic voices and personae in their major works, Leaves of Grass and Canto General. In addition they each presented the initiatory journey of a shaman in "The Sleepers" and "Alturas de Macchu Picchu." Despite the historical, cultural, and individual distinctions between their works, they both celebrate a tribal community and assume the functions of what Whitman calls the "poet-chief." These points of intersection between the poetics of Whitman, Neruda, and the American Indian clarify the nature of that broader voice identified as the native in American poetry. This fresh reading of two major American poets helps to break through the partitions that separate the native, English, and Spanish poetic responses to the American hemisphere
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 249-258) and index
Notes Master and use copy. Digital master created according to Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials, Version 1. Digital Library Federation, December 2002. MiAaHDL
Print version record
Subject Neruda, Pablo, 1904-1973 -- Aesthetics.
Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892 -- Aesthetics.
Comparative literature -- American and Chilean
Comparative literature -- Chilean and American
Indian aesthetics.
Indians in literature.
Literature and anthropology -- America.
Oral tradition -- America.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 058517895X (electronic bk.)
9780585178950 (electronic bk.)