January 24, 2007

Ojibwe poet inspired Longfellow

English professor compiles American Indian poetryMany students and scholars have read about the "gloomy pine trees" in Henry Wordsworth Longfellow's famous poem "The Song of Hiawatha," but few know the poem's actual roots.

Robert Dale Parker, English professor at the University, traces the poem's history back to the work of a woman named Jane Johnston Schoolcraft, the first American Indian literary writer. Parker assembled the entirety of Schoolcraft's poetry and prose for his new book, "The Sound the Stars Make Rushing Through the Sky: The Writings of Jane Johnston Schoolcraft."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What an interesting family history there. The translation of her Indian name is the title of the book.