Dream drawings Configurations of a timeless kind

N. Scott Momaday, 1934-

Book - 2022

"From Pulitzer Prize winner and celebrated American master N. Scott Momaday, a collection of 100 new prose poems, rooted in Native American oral tradition, along with 5-7 pieces of art by the author"--

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2nd Floor 811.54/Momaday Due May 1, 2024
Prose poems
New York : Harper Perennial [2022]
Main Author
N. Scott Momaday, 1934- (author)
First edition
Physical Description
xiii, 106 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
  • Preface
  • The Original Storyteller
  • On Dreaming
  • Centaur
  • To Hold the Sun
  • The Scop
  • The Spiritual Gravity of Place
  • The Realization of Nothing
  • Guests
  • The Moonlight Passage
  • The Speech
  • To Mrs. Charles T. Bucket of Greenfield, Massachusetts
  • The Visitors
  • The Capture
  • The Close
  • The Dark Amusement of Bears
  • The Shadow of a Name
  • Landscape with Clouds
  • The Birthright
  • A Mantra
  • Observations
  • Ownership
  • Song of the Journey
  • Configurations of a Timeless Kind
  • Beat the Drum Slowly
  • Dreaming Bear Speaks
  • Merger
  • Time and Essence
  • Chivalry
  • The Night Dance
  • A Spell for Setting Out
  • An Act of Mercy
  • The Woman Who Held Sway
  • To Speak of Nothing
  • The Mask
  • The Hollow Log
  • In the Telling
  • The Woman at the Glass Door
  • On the Imagination
  • Passage
  • The Shield that Came Home
  • The Zebra Report
  • The Marrowbone Manuscript
  • A Profound Evasion
  • Witches
  • The Ice Woman
  • The Visions of Stone Carrier
  • Pai-Mahtone
  • The Shape Shifter
  • Belief
  • On Horseback he Sings
  • The Instrument
  • Alexander and Bucephalus
  • The Poet's Muse
  • The Hat
  • The Shout
  • The Meadow
  • The Octopus Dreaming
  • Arfig the Witch
  • The Explorer
  • Prints
  • A Dream of Becoming Old
  • A Stroke Upon the Earth
  • Miss O'Keeffe of Abiquiu
  • The Whisperer
  • The Death of Beauty
  • Transparency
  • Shadow
  • Prayer to the Sun
  • Banter
  • The Breath of the Infinite
  • Through a Lens of Cold
  • The Green Stick
  • The Ghost of Adam Meagre
  • Confusion
  • The Intruder
  • To a Child this Gift
  • The Tyranny of Time
  • Blood Memory
  • Imposture
  • Handprints
  • The Portrait of Spencer Kohl
  • Crows
  • The Burning
  • A Stone for Singing
  • One Hunter
  • The Efficacy of Prayer
  • The Ultimate Dream
  • A Moral Equation in Art
  • Forewarned
  • Madness
  • Facets of Discourse
  • Sunrise
  • The Wall
  • A Woman's Voice
  • The Child's Discovery
  • The Griever
  • The Whirlwind
  • The Reading
  • The Piano Teacher
  • World Renewal
  • End Note
Review by Booklist Review

Add another entry of mystical lyrics to the still-expanding oeuvre of prolific Kiowa folklorist, novelist, and illustrator Momaday (The Death of Sitting Bear: New and Selected Poems, 2020). One hundred short poems serve as "dream drawings," snapshots that range from lullaby rhymes ("Rather would I gather dreams / And find in dreaming more than meaning seems") to imagined interactions with well-known writers, such as William Shakespeare and Emily Dickinson, who, the speaker claims, "read to me a poem she had written about crickets." Some may find these reflections quaint or too subdued, but many unexpected moments await receptive readers. One poem opens with a partially petrified tree that conceals a fracture in the space-time continuum. Another poem recounts a haunted portrait, "the image of a round, bald head with / blood red lips over uneven teeth and vacant white eyes," which literally speaks to its creator. Despite the wide variety of subjects addressed over the course of these one hundred oneiric sketches, the book's long view and even pace bring out the best insights of this octogenarian's flourishing career.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review

A consummate storyteller whose works include many novels, plays, and poems, Pulitzer Prize--winning Kiowa author Momaday follows up 2020's Earth Keeper and The Death of Sitting Bear: New and Selected Poems with a collection of 100 prose poems along with drawings by the author. Each piece blends seamlessly with what precedes and follows, and readers will find themselves inside the dream of these poems, held under the spell of turning the page. Momaday has created his own mythology here, his own world, stating that "language is magical…. We became human when we acquired language." As they encounter spirits and spirit animals--bears, eagles, and witches--they will also find much wisdom: "The story does not end. Rather it revolves on a wheel of telling." Those he pays homage to include Gwendolyn Brooks, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Rumi as he spreads out "a meadow./ On a carpet of colors/ I will meet you there." VERDICT Momaday's poems are rich with description, lush with dreaming, and filled with magic. Essential for Indigenous collections and highly recommended for poetry lovers generally.--Karla Huston

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

The iconic Kiowa writer offers an assemblage of parables, poems, vignettes, and a few stark drawings, with the thematic underpinning that all stories are part of a larger universal story. Momaday (b. 1934), winner of a Pulitzer Prize and numerous lifetime achievement awards, is acclaimed for his work as a fiction writer, poet, and essayist, often blurring the boundaries among categories. In this follow-up to Earth Keeper, the author pretty much obliterates those categories, drawing deeply from dreams, fantasies, personal remembrance, and the wellspring of Native American spirituality to dissolve distinctions between the real and the surreal. "I have heard the thunder of King Lear's voice on the boards of the Globe Theatre in Elizabethan London," he writes. "I was spellbound. Emily Dickinson read to me a poem she had written about crickets in which she realized a precision of statement that defies description." Momaday suggests that if you have dreamed it, you have lived it, and that the you or I of whom you are conscious might itself be a dream. We see these ideas at work in "Dreaming Bear Speaks," one of the many short narratives in which bears appear--usually not threatening, sometimes dreaming. "Perhaps he dreams of me dreaming of him," writes the author. "He dreams of being me, of being human." Night and day, dreams and awakening, fact and fantasy: The boundaries contained therein seem porous throughout these pieces, which combine elements of the fantastical and the matter-of-fact. Despite the title, there aren't that many drawings, and they appear as representational inkblots, suggesting a tree or a crow or a human visage. The illustrations punctuate the narratives and underscore their thematic unity, but the narratives themselves also have a sketchlike quality--drawings with words. Momaday concludes that these pieces "are random and self-contained, and they are the stuff of story, and story is a nourishment of the soul." Most spiritually open-minded readers will agree. Bite-size snacks for the metaphysical appetite. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.