A Cycle of the West


A Cycle of the West

The Song of Three Friends, The Song of Hugh Glass, The Song of Jed Smith, The Song of the Indian Wars, The Song of the Messiah

A Bison Classic Edition

John G. Neihardt
Annotated by Joe Green
New introduction by Alan Birkelbach

Bison Classic Editions Series

726 pages

eBook (EPUB)

(Requires Adobe Digital Editions)

August 2018


$44.95 Add to Cart

August 2018


$44.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

(Requires Adobe Digital Editions)

August 2018


$44.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

A Cycle of the West rewards its readers with a sweeping saga of the American West and John G. Neihardt’s exhilarating vision of frontier history. It is infused with wonder, nostalgia, and a keen appreciation of epic history.

Unquestionably the masterpiece of the poet who has been called the “American Homer,” A Cycle of the West celebrates the land and legends of the Old West in five narrative poems: The Song of Three Friends (1919), The Song of Hugh Glass (1915), The Song of Jed Smith (1941), The Song of the Indian Wars (1925), and The Song of the Messiah (1935). This unforgettable epic of discovery, conquest, courage, and tragedy speaks movingly and resoundingly of a unique American experience. The new introduction by former Texas poet laureate Alan Birkelbach and annotations by Joe Green present fresh views of Neihardt’s iconic work.

Author Bio

John G. Neihardt (1881–1973) is the author of several classics, including Black Elk Speaks: The Complete Edition and Eagle Voice Remembers, both available in Bison Books editions. He was named Nebraska’s first poet laureate. Joe Green is a retired English teacher and member of the John G. Neihardt Foundation Board of Directors. Alan Birkelbach is the 2005 Poet Laureate of Texas. He is the author of eleven books of poetry and winner of the 2015 Spur Award for Best Western Poem from the Western Writers of America.


“A powerful succession of songs celebrating the experience of the frontier.”—Los Angeles Times

“A sweeping narrative told with poetic images as big as the great American West.”—Historical Novels Review

“Joe Green’s exhaustive annotations in this valuable new edition not only make John Neihardt’s powerful poems more accessible to twenty-first-century readers, they also draw attention to the depth of Neihardt’s own research into the period of American history that meant so much to him.”—Timothy G. Anderson, author of Lonesome Dreamer: The Life of John G. Neihardt

“Green’s remarkable work clarifies our understanding of John Neihardt’s epic poetic ode to the American West and reinforces its position as a literary masterpiece that will inform and inspire readers for generations to come.”—Amy Kucera, former executive director of the John G. Neihardt State Historic Site

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