Other literary forms

(Poets and Poetry in America)

The range of John G. Neihardt (NI-hahrt) is extensive. During a seventy-five-year literary career, he wrote at least 3,027 poems, plays, novels, stories, essays, articles, reviews, and histories, as well as a two-volume autobiography. Most of Neihardt’s prose fiction was written before 1912. His short stories about fur trappers and Native Americans gathered in The Lonesome Trail (1907) and Indian Tales, and Others (1926) are often excellent. His early novels are less successful, but Black Elk Speaks (1932) and his last novel, When the Tree Flowered (1951), are considered masterpieces of the literature on Native Americans and have been translated into many languages.

In addition, Neihardt excelled in nonfiction: The River and I (1910) chronicles his outdoor adventure down the Missouri River, The Splendid Wayfaring (1920) provides a history of fur expeditions, and Poetic Values (1925) outlines Neihardt’s philosophy of poetry developed during an editorial career of almost forty years.