Poem-a-Day - "Truth Is Mortal" by Too-qua-stee

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
November 6, 2022 
Made possible thanks to readers like you.

Truth Is Mortal

Too-qua-stee
Lines suggested by the tenor of a friendly interview between the author and the editor of the Chieftain in reference to the capture and incarceration of Crazy Snake, the Muskogee patriot.

“Truth crushed to earth will rise again,”
   ’Tis sometimes said. False! When it dies,
Like a tall tree felled on the plain,
   It never, never more, can rise.

Dead beauty’s buried out of sight;
   ’Tis gone beyond the eternal wave;
Another springs up into light,
   But not the one that’s in the grave.

I saw a ship once leave the shore;
   Its name was “Truth;” and on its board
It bore a thousand souls or more:
   Beneath its keel the ocean roared.

That ship went down with all its crew.
   True: other ships as proud as she,
Well built, and strong, and wholly new,
   Still ride upon that self-same sea.

But “Truth,” and all on her embarked
   Are lost in an eternal sleep,
(The fatal place itself unmarked)
   Far down in the abysmal deep.

Let fleeing Aguinaldo speak;
   And Oc̅eola from his cell;
And Sitting Bull, and Crazy Snake;
   Their story of experience tell.

There is no truth in all the earth
   But there’s a Calvary and a Cross;
We scarce have time to hail its birth,
   Ere we are called to mark its loss.

The truth that lives and laugh’s a sneak,
   That crouching licks the hand of power,
While that that’s worth the name is weak,
   And under foot dies every hour.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on November 6, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.

Subscribe to the Poem-a-Day Podcast 

  

“Truth is Mortal” was first published in the Indian Chieftain on February 7, 1901. The poem was later collected in the anthology Changing Is Not Vanishing (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011), where Robert Dale Parker, professor of English and American Indian studies at the University of Illinois, explains that the poem and its epigraph are most likely in reference to the arrest of “Chitto Harjo, translated into English as Crazy Snake, the legendary Muskogee orator and chief who led resistance to federal allotment of Muskogee lands.” He writes, “In 1901, federal troops moved against Harjo and his expanding group of followers (Crazy Snakes, or Snakes). On 27 January the troops arrested Harjo and many other Snakes, perhaps in time to inspire Too-qua-stee’s poem published 7 February.” The opening line is an allusion to line thirty-three of William Cullen Bryant’s poem “The Battle-Field,” which reads “Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again”—an idea which Too-qua-stee’s poem sharply contradicts.

Too-qua-stee, also known as DeWitt Clinton Duncan, was born in the Cherokee Nation in Georgia in 1829. A poet, short story writer, and essayist, he was an attorney for the Cherokee Nation and a translator of Cherokee law, as well as a teacher of Latin, English, and Greek. His writing appeared frequently in periodicals, primarily the Cherokee Advocate and the Indian Chieftain. He died in 1909.

Changing Is Not Vanishing: A Collection of American Indian Poetry to 1930
Changing Is Not Vanishing: A Collection of American Indian Poetry to 1930
(University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011)

“On the Capture and Imprisonment of Crazy Snake, January, 1900” by Alexander Posey
read more

“XXVIII [‘Truth,’ said a traveller]”
by Stephen Crane

read more

Thanks to Jake Skeets, author of Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers (Milkweed, 2019), who curated Poem-a-Day for this month’s weekdays. Read or listen to a Q&A about Skeets’s curatorial approach and find out more about our guest editors for the year
Love Poem-a-Day?

Help the Academy of American Poets share daily poems by joining our monthly sustainers program or by making a one-time gift.

Become a  monthly sustainer.

Make a gift.

Copyright © 2022 The Academy of American Poets, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in via our website.

Our mailing address is:
The Academy of American Poets
75 Maiden Lane
St #901
New York, NY 10038

Add us to your address book


View this email in your browser

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Older messages

"Iris of Life" by Zitkála-Šá

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Like tiny drops of crystal rain, / In every life the moments fall Facebook Twitter Instagram November 5, 2022 Made possible thanks to readers like you. Iris of Life Zitkála-Šá Like tiny drops of

from "Far Country" by Kyce Bello

Friday, November 4, 2022

Mist snakes the mountains, / uncoiled, unhurried. Facebook Twitter Instagram November 4, 2022 Support Poem-a-Day from “Far Country” Kyce Bello Mist snakes the mountains, uncoiled, unhurried. The moon

Poems for Native American Heritage Month & More

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Plus, browse poems and lesson plans for Thanksgiving Facebook Twitter Instagram November 2022 Poems for Native American Heritage Month November is Native American Heritage Month. Celebrate with the

Join Us on November 17 for Gather in Poems: A Special Reading & Offering of Community

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Join us for Gather in Poems, a virtual reading, on November 17. Join Us for Gather in Poems: A Special Reading & Offering of Community Through Poetry With: Hanif Abdurraqib Sumita Chakraborty Tina

"Thank God for Hard Feelings" by Haesong Kwon

Thursday, November 3, 2022

The life of a garment worker in midtown Manhattan. Facebook Twitter Instagram November 3, 2022 Support Poem-a-Day Thank God for Hard Feelings Haesong Kwon The life of a garment worker in midtown

Jennifer Aniston Just Nailed The Winter Outfit Of Our Dreams

Monday, December 5, 2022

It's SO cozy! ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ TZR logo The Zoe Report 12.04.22 Jennifer Aniston Just Nailed The Winter Outfit Of Our Dreams (Celebrity) Jennifer Aniston Just Nailed The Winter

Yes, You Can Still Build Strength Using Fitness Machines

Sunday, December 4, 2022

View in Browser Men's Health SHOP MVP EXCLUSIVES SUBSCRIBE Yes, You Can Still Build Strength Using Fitness Machines Yes, You Can Still Build Strength Using Fitness Machines Functional fitness

7 of the Best White Elephant Gifts for Less Than $30

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Come to your gift exchange with something steal-worthy, but secretly low-cost.... ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ Do everything better Sunday, December 4, 2022 Money 7 of the Best White

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Satisfying bites of comfort in every bowl. Get the Magazine Allrecipes Slow Cooker Slow Jam Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings "WARNING!!! This meal will force you to eat until you burst. LOL

‘Girls Like Girls’ And The Making of a Phenomenon

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Stealing kisses from your misses 💕 ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

The Weekly Wrap #87

Sunday, December 4, 2022

12.04.2022 ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

Decorate your Christmas tree like a pro

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Hack your holiday setup ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

The magic of a simple weekday lunch

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Inspired by cookbook author Ruby Tandoh ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

LAST CHANCE: Get a 10% Discount on The Root 100 Event Tickets

Sunday, December 4, 2022

You're invited to this one-night-only, star-studded celebration at NYC's Apollo Theater The Root December 2, 2022 View in browser Image: (Tom House) Just a few days to go! This Thursday,

RI#148 - Epic online tools/Hydration myths/Amazing podcast moments

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Hello people ! I'm Alex, the author of the Rabbit Ideas Newsletter. Every week I find useful resource RI#148 - Epic online tools/Hydration myths/Amazing podcast moments By Alex Kurtev • Issue #148