blacktitle.jpg (12329 bytes)

On "Plainview: 3"

Kenneth C. Mason

The poem is a brief, incisive succession of metaphors for dawn. It carries us quickly beyond the mere fact of sunrise to a joyous celebration of the spirit of the renewal, beautiful and harmonious, of the day. It is a poem of spiritual regeneration through the land.

"Plainview: 3" can also be read as prayer of praise to the sun. For, as James Mooney tells us in Calendar History of the Kiowa Indians, the Kiowas were a sun-worshipping people: "The greatest of the Kiowa gods is the Sun; by him they swear, to him they make sacrifice of their own flesh, and in his honour they hold the great annual kado or sun dance." The note of praise is evident in the increasing vibrancy in the images of the poem.

From "Beautyway: The Poetry of N. Scott Momaday. The South Dakota Review 18:2 (Summer, 1980).

Return to N. Scott Momaday