You are the dark shape I find
On nights of the spilling moon,
Pale in the pool of heaven.
You are spirit, you are that
Which summons me and confirms
My passage. You know my name...
N. Scott Momaday's unique connection to the beauty and spirituality of the natural world surfaces in all of his works, from his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel House Made of Dawn to his more recent collection In the Presence of the Sun. Yet In the Bear's House is Momaday's intensely personal quest to understand the spirit of the wilderness embodied in the animal image of Bear.
Intimately linked to Bear since his childhood, Momaday searches for this elusive yet omnipresent spirit who is both the keeper and the manifestation of the wild mountains, rivers, and plains. Exploring themes of anguish, forgiveness, and belief, Momaday journeys from the bitter Siberian taiga to the blackening night sky to deep within his own timeless essence, and reveals Bear to be both a radiant presence and spiritual restorative. In the first section, Momaday uses dialogues between the original Bear, Urset, and his creator, Yahweh, to probe the troubling consolation of language, the wonder of prayer, and the grace of storytelling. The bold, finely wrought language of the poems and passages collected here evoke the despair, bewilderment, and valor of the hunted Bear as well as the ultimate redemption and fulfillment to be found in the ritual of death. The provocative original paintings throughout In the Bear's House powerfully enhance our interpretation of Bear by suggesting his many incarnations.
Through both word and image, Momaday brings us deep into his vision of Bear's house and further distinguishes himself as one of the most luminous visionaries of our time. [via]