Poets

Search more than 3,000 biographies of contemporary and classic poets.

Ruth Muskrat Bronson

Ruth Muskrat Bronson, also known as Ruth Margaret Muskrat, was born on October 3, 1897, in the Delaware Nation Reservation. Remembered for her work as a leader in Native American education and as an activist for Native American rights, she is the author of Indians Are People Too (Friendship Press, 1944). She died on June 12, 1982, in Tucson, Arizona.

By This Poet

1

Songs of the Spavinaw

I am the river of Spavinaw,
     I am the river of pain;
Sadness and gladness must answer my law;
Measure for measure I give, and withdraw
Back through the hills of the Spavinaw,
     Hiding away from the plain.

I am the river of Spavinaw;
     I sing the songs of the world;
Dashing and whirling, swishing and swirling,
Delicate, mystical, silvery spray hurling,
     Sing I the songs of the world,
     The passionate songs of the world.

I sing of laughter and mirth,
     And I laugh in a gurgle of glee
As the myriad joys of the earth
     Trip through the light with me.
Gay shallows dimple, sparkle and ripple.
     Like songs that a lover would sing,
        Skipping in moonlight,
        Tripping in moonlight,
     Whispering echoes of spring.

And again
     I move with the slow sadness of pain.
In my dark blue deep, where the shadows creep,
     I catch up life’s sorrows and mirror them back again.
And my song is a throbbing, pitiful sobbing,
     Choked by an agonized pain.

And then
     I move forth toward the beckoning north,
        And I sing of the power of men.
            As I dash down my falls,
            As I beat at my walls
Frantically fighting, running and righting,
All through the flood, through the snarling and biting,
        I sing of the power of men,
        Of the hurry and power of men.

        I am the river of Spavinaw,
        I am the giver of pain;
Sadness and gladness must answer my law;
Measure for measure I give, and withdraw
Back through the hills of the Spavinaw,
        Hiding away from the plain.