Wearing the Morning Star
Native American Song-Poems
“Swann has put together a collection of Native songs that were nearly lost. . . . There is a great range and variety here, and a common ground: open forms, organic rhythms, and a tendency to incantation and rich imagery. The matter is of the land and living, of links with the past and hopes for the future. Swann’s volume will give many good reasons to sing."—Library Journal
With Wearing the Morning Star, Brian Swann presents a collection of more than one hundred Native American songs that celebrate the rich and vibrant oral traditions of the Indigenous peoples of North America. These are songs of the earth and the sky, songs of mourning and of love, parts of ceremonies and rites and rituals. Some have familiar themes; others illuminate the complexities and differences of the Native cultures. The collection includes songs of derision and threat, ribald songs, hunting chants, and a song sung by an Inuit about the first airplane he ever saw.
Swann has provided an authoritative introduction and notes for each selection that place the songs in their cultural contexts. He has reworked the original translations where appropriate to allow the modern reader to appreciate and enjoy these remarkable works and provides a new preface for this Bison Books edition.
Brian Swann is on the faculty of humanities and social sciences at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.
182 pp — ©2005