from My Indian Boyhood
Pardon a serendipitous commentary, but when I just read this poem again, I thought how much of the poem's emotive and descriptive diction applied to the Native Americans of the plains, many of whose dances were patterned upon the local prairie-chickens and grouse. For both Indian and bird, one sees "the male, in feather-fan"—or "spirit feather"—dancing in "sacred ceremony"; having been "stalked . . . nearly to extinction," both are now more "legendary" than legion; and the neo-Romantic poet must wax nostalgic, for past "millennia," yearning herself for such culturally integral "strength" and "purpose."