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Shannon: A Poem of the Lewis and Clark…

Shannon: A Poem of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (2009)

by Campbell McGrath

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Who finds this body
Be it known
My name is George Shannon
& I bequeath my remains
To seed this land
With American bones

This poem tells the story of George Shannon. George Shannon was the youngest member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. He was just 19 in 1804 when he became separated from the rest of the group and wandered in the Nebraska and South Dakota territories for 16 days. He followed the Missouri River attempting to catch up with the rest of the expedition. He had actually gotten ahead of the expedition - they were detained when dealing with local tribes they met along the river. When they found him he had nearly starved to death.
Since Shannon did not keep a journal on the expedition McGrath has fictionalized his lost 16 days and included some information from the official journals of Lewis and Clark. I found the sections where Shannon was starting to hallucinate from lack of food very inventive. I liked this poem a lot - it was inventive, fun, sad and informative.
Also a big plus in my book - there was a mention of the Kickapoo Indian tribe. My maternal great grandmother was Kickapoo Indian. Mentions of the Kickapoo are rare. ( )
  VioletBramble | May 4, 2011 |
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For Sam
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After jerking the meat killed yesterday and preparing the elk skins for a tow-rope we set out, leaving Shannon and Drouillard to hunt for the horses lost last night.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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