(poetry): "To the Pine Tree" by Jane Johnston Schoolcraft

Jun 10, 2021

"On the Grave of the Giant"
Credit @Jonathan Thunder. Used with permission.

There aren't a lot of people who write poetry in Ojibwe, and Michelle Goose has no desire to be one of them.

Michelle is on the Native American Studies faculty at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, and she teaches classes in Ojibwe, but she says she's never had any desire to try her hand at poetry in the language.

But she was pleased to find a work - in Ojibwe and English - by Jane Johnston Schoolcraft, (1800-1842), "...the first known American Indian literary writer, the first known Indian woman writer, the first known Indian poet, the first known poet to write poems in a Native American language, and the first known American Indian to write out traditional Indian stories (as opposed to transcribing and translating from someone else’s oral delivery, which she did also)."

You can read more about Schoolcraft's poetry here, read "To the Pine Tree" and other selected poems here, and find out more about her book, The Sound the Stars Make Rushing Through the Sky: The Writings of Jane Johnston Schoolcraft here.