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Pauline Johnson: Selected Poetry and Prose

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Pauline Johnson was an unusual and unique presence on the literary scene during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A female voice among an almost entirely male writing community, she drew on her gender and her unique origins — half-aboriginal, half-English — developing a unique perspective in her lyrical poems and her recounting of Native myths and legends. She captiv Pauline Johnson was an unusual and unique presence on the literary scene during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A female voice among an almost entirely male writing community, she drew on her gender and her unique origins — half-aboriginal, half-English — developing a unique perspective in her lyrical poems and her recounting of Native myths and legends. She captivated her audiences on both sides of the Atlantic by infusing drama into her readings.  Her writings assembled here represent poems from her collection Flint and Feather, coupled with her stories and legends of British Columbia that appeared in Legends of Vancouver. Although her life was cut short by illness, Pauline Johnson, or Tekahionwake, as she was known to her people, has been the subject of several biographies and remains a writer of compelling interest to the present day.


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Pauline Johnson was an unusual and unique presence on the literary scene during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A female voice among an almost entirely male writing community, she drew on her gender and her unique origins — half-aboriginal, half-English — developing a unique perspective in her lyrical poems and her recounting of Native myths and legends. She captiv Pauline Johnson was an unusual and unique presence on the literary scene during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A female voice among an almost entirely male writing community, she drew on her gender and her unique origins — half-aboriginal, half-English — developing a unique perspective in her lyrical poems and her recounting of Native myths and legends. She captivated her audiences on both sides of the Atlantic by infusing drama into her readings.  Her writings assembled here represent poems from her collection Flint and Feather, coupled with her stories and legends of British Columbia that appeared in Legends of Vancouver. Although her life was cut short by illness, Pauline Johnson, or Tekahionwake, as she was known to her people, has been the subject of several biographies and remains a writer of compelling interest to the present day.

33 review for Pauline Johnson: Selected Poetry and Prose

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tracey

    An enjoyable selection. I enjoyed the story of her life in the introduction and most especially the piece she wrote about her mother and father. She was homeschooled and read much literature at her home. She was very influenced by Tennyson and Swinburne, which is reflected in her poetry. I really liked this poem: Penseroso by Emily Pauline Johnson Soulless is all humanity to me To-night. My keenest longing is to be Alone, alone with God's grey earth that seems Pulse of my pulse and consort of my dream An enjoyable selection. I enjoyed the story of her life in the introduction and most especially the piece she wrote about her mother and father. She was homeschooled and read much literature at her home. She was very influenced by Tennyson and Swinburne, which is reflected in her poetry. I really liked this poem: Penseroso by Emily Pauline Johnson Soulless is all humanity to me To-night. My keenest longing is to be Alone, alone with God's grey earth that seems Pulse of my pulse and consort of my dreams. To-night my soul desires no fellowship, Or fellow-being; crave I but to slip Thro' space on space, till flesh no more can bind, And I may quit for aye my fellow kind. Let me but feel athwart my cheek the lash Of whipping wind, but hear the torrent dash Adown the mountain steep, 'twere more my choice Than touch of human hand, than human voice. Let me but wander on the shore night-stilled, Drinking its darkness till my soul is filled; The breathing of the salt sea on my hair, My outstretched hands but grasping empty air. Let me but feel the pulse of Nature's soul Athrob on mine, let seas and thunders roll O'er night and me; sands whirl; winds, waters beat; For God's grey earth has no cheap counterfeit.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    Reading this little compendium (included autobiography, memoirs, poetry, and folk stories) was like a pleasant walk down Memory Lane-- that street that includes my Grandmother's house, a few of the schools I attended, and my own little bush reading nook from my romanticized girlhood. This time I read for facts, not just enjoyment. I was fascinated by the details of Pauline Johnson's life. I loved daydream-reading about her parents and their idealized life as English-woman-marries-young-Indian-Chi Reading this little compendium (included autobiography, memoirs, poetry, and folk stories) was like a pleasant walk down Memory Lane-- that street that includes my Grandmother's house, a few of the schools I attended, and my own little bush reading nook from my romanticized girlhood. This time I read for facts, not just enjoyment. I was fascinated by the details of Pauline Johnson's life. I loved daydream-reading about her parents and their idealized life as English-woman-marries-young-Indian-Chief. I felt so close to Pauline Johnson. I am inspired to write about my own family who lived in this era, and not too far from where Pauline Johnson was brought up on the Mohawk land near Brantford, Ontario. My husband hauled in the valise full of my Great-Aunt Jean's diaries and other moldy family documents for me to go through in the dead of winter. If you are Canadian and enjoy history, this is definitely a book I would recommend. Sort of "Hits of Pauline Johnson". You will get a good close-up of the British Colonial times and the feelings around the birth of Canada. I now have a great yearning to go walk in Stanley Park. Pauline Johnson died in Vancouver in 1913 at about 52 years old.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Eileen Wood

    I’m surprised I never heard of this author when I was reading Nellie McLung, Susanna Moodie, Catherine Parr Trail, etc. It is cool to read a First Nation woman author from that time period. It’s a compilation of her poetry and prose. I read a selection.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chelsi

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tara

  7. 4 out of 5

    Martin Wallace

  8. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dundurn Press

  10. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Martin

  11. 5 out of 5

    M.T. Lena

  12. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Bellamy

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tia Gonzales

  14. 4 out of 5

    rose vibrations

  15. 5 out of 5

    Allain

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tim Ballard

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Turner

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rania

  20. 4 out of 5

    Suki

  21. 4 out of 5

    Natalya Flyak

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elyse

  23. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Wong

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alissa

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Bradshaw

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jaime Morse

  27. 4 out of 5

    maddie

  28. 5 out of 5

    Grete

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nara Monteiro

  30. 5 out of 5

    Katherine

  31. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany Anderson

  32. 4 out of 5

    Cate

  33. 5 out of 5

    kay

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