By Helen Addison Howard
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Extra info for American Indian Poetry (Twayne's United States authors series ; TUSAS 334)
The sound is fading away. It is of five sounds. 6 As the singer did not explain the sense of t h e poem to the translator, its meaning remains cryptic. Ill Metaphor, Simile, and Magic in Songs Occasionally Densmore's translations bring out figures of speech that in their suggestive power rank favorably with the best Imagist work: Song of Spring 7 As my eyes search the prairie, I feel the summer in the spring. This charming song mirrors no visible signs of spring, although the poet "felt it in the air" with the promise of coming summer.
W h e n she became the Holy W o m a n , the pair gave the chants to the Navajo to use in a ceremony to cure illness. The medicine man would make a colored sand picture on the ground and chant the song-poem. T h e second "thought-rhythm" pattern is alternating in design; the repetitions are carried alternately from the first line in t h e first stanza to the first line in the second stanza, from the second line in the first stanza to the second line in the second stanza, etc. This type is especially well illustrated in the graceful lilt of the Hopi "Katzina" songs: Korosta Katzina Song 36 Yellow butterflies, Over the blossoming virgin corn, With pollen-painted faces Chase one another in brilliant throng.
The characteristic qualities are imaginative, aesthetic and emotional in type. Their aspects are concreteness, rhythm, beauty, compactness, sincerity. The last aspect is a notable expression of the great religious motive which is dominant in all forms of native verse. 55 40 AMERICAN INDIAN POETRY Miss Barnes also finds that the factors influencing Indian song literature are spiritual quality, observation of nature, imagination, symbolism, and sense of beauty. T h e distinguishing traits of style are monotony, repetition, conciseness, poetic diction, imagery, and musical quality.
American Indian Poetry (Twayne's United States authors series ; TUSAS 334) by Helen Addison Howard