Dream Drawings: Configurations of a Timeless Kind

Harper Perennial. May 2022. 128p. ISBN 9780063218116. pap. $17.99. POETRY
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.
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