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The Crazy Horse Suite

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In the 1870s large deposits of gold were found in the Black Hills of the U.S. Territory of Dakota. By treaty the land belonged to the indigenous people, the Sioux. But when thousands of prospectors flooded into the Black Hills the U.S Cavalry was dispatched to protect them. So began the bloody conflict that would lead to the displacement and humiliation of the original inh In the 1870s large deposits of gold were found in the Black Hills of the U.S. Territory of Dakota. By treaty the land belonged to the indigenous people, the Sioux. But when thousands of prospectors flooded into the Black Hills the U.S Cavalry was dispatched to protect them. So began the bloody conflict that would lead to the displacement and humiliation of the original inhabitants of this area. I wrote this series of poems because of my interest in the mystic and warrior Crazy Horse, of the Lakota tribe of the Sioux. Besides Crazy Horse I have used the voices of three characters: Crazy Horse’s friend Little Big Man; Crazy Horse’s lover, Black Buffalo Woman; and George Armstrong Custer, who led his battalion of the Seventh Cavalry to annihilation at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Although roughly based on historical incidents The Crazy Horse Suite is not a historical text. It is poetry. Its foundation is not fact but metaphor, image, sound. The narrative follows the historical course, but does so through dreamlike depictions of confusion, rage, pride, guilt, ecstasy, revelation, love and plain evil. I have presented the fight for the Black Hills by imagining the inner worlds of four participants in the events of that terrible time, and by turning those imaginings into poems.


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In the 1870s large deposits of gold were found in the Black Hills of the U.S. Territory of Dakota. By treaty the land belonged to the indigenous people, the Sioux. But when thousands of prospectors flooded into the Black Hills the U.S Cavalry was dispatched to protect them. So began the bloody conflict that would lead to the displacement and humiliation of the original inh In the 1870s large deposits of gold were found in the Black Hills of the U.S. Territory of Dakota. By treaty the land belonged to the indigenous people, the Sioux. But when thousands of prospectors flooded into the Black Hills the U.S Cavalry was dispatched to protect them. So began the bloody conflict that would lead to the displacement and humiliation of the original inhabitants of this area. I wrote this series of poems because of my interest in the mystic and warrior Crazy Horse, of the Lakota tribe of the Sioux. Besides Crazy Horse I have used the voices of three characters: Crazy Horse’s friend Little Big Man; Crazy Horse’s lover, Black Buffalo Woman; and George Armstrong Custer, who led his battalion of the Seventh Cavalry to annihilation at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Although roughly based on historical incidents The Crazy Horse Suite is not a historical text. It is poetry. Its foundation is not fact but metaphor, image, sound. The narrative follows the historical course, but does so through dreamlike depictions of confusion, rage, pride, guilt, ecstasy, revelation, love and plain evil. I have presented the fight for the Black Hills by imagining the inner worlds of four participants in the events of that terrible time, and by turning those imaginings into poems.

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