Arn Henderson

Document for an Anonymous Indian

The Surgeon General's Collection

Arn Henderson, Professor Emeritus of Architecture, The University of Oklahoma, chose to return to his native state after living in New York, Japan, and Mexico partly because of the “temporal ambiguity” of Oklahoma, where contemporary and historical events are juxtaposed in everyday life.

Arn Henderson's "Purgatory's Mouth," which seems to be drawn from a semi-literate frontiersman's journal, is an unforgettable account of a bear's attack. The victim, his head having twice slipped from "the Bares mouth... /it/being too large for the Span of His mouth," upon being rescued, laments

/ am killed that I Heard my Skull Brake;
but We Ware Willing
to beleve He Was mistaken
as He Spoke Chearfully on the Subgect
till In the after noon of the second day
and on examening a Hole
the upper part of His Wright temple

71 poets characterize the Great Plains, its history and people

“A highly readable collection of good poems”

William Pitt Root