“The Delight Song of Tsoai-talee”

How would YOU describe yourself?  “I am…?”

Pulitzer Prize-winning author N. Scott Momady, whose Kiowa name is Tsoai-talee), wrote this extraordinary anaphora poem.  His repetition of “I am” paired with beautiful metaphors from nature, conveys such joy and connection with the natural world.


The Delight Song of Tsoai-talee

I am a feather on the bright sky

I am the blue horse that runs in the plain

I am the fish that rolls, shining, in the water

I am the shadow that follows a child

I am the evening light, the lustre of meadows

I am an eagle playing with the wind

I am a cluster of bright beads

I am the farthest star

I am the cold of dawn

I am the roaring of the rain

I am the glitter on the crust of the snow

I am the long track of the moon in a lake

I am a flame of four colors

I am a deer standing away in the dusk

I am a field of sumac and the pomme blanche

I am an angle of geese in the winter sky

I am the hunger of a young wolf

I am the whole dream of these things


You see, I am alive, I am alive

I stand in good relation to the earth

I stand in good relation to the gods

I stand in good relation to all that is beautiful

I stand in good relation to the daughter of Tsen-tainte

You see, I am alive, I am alive

-N. Scott Momaday


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