Poetry is not really my thing, and usually you find posts about photography on this blog, but I came across this poem by Jane Johnston Schoolcraft and couldn't help myself. Jane was born at Sault Ste Marie in the Michigan Territory to an Ojibwe mother and and Irish father. Her name is probably familiar to many Michiganders because in 1822 she married Henry Rowe Schoolcarft. Henry was a federally appointed Indian agent and became a very important Michigan historical figure.
Jane spoke and wrote Ojibwe (probably Odawa), French and English. Around 9 years old Jane was sent to England and Ireland by her parents to get an education. Very homesick, she returned within a couple of years. Sometime later she wrote a poem about her first sighting of a Michigan Pine upon arriving back in Northern Michigan.
To the Pine Tree
The pine, my father! see it stand,
As first that cherished tree I spied,
Returning to my native land.
The pine! the pine! oh lovely scene!
The pine that is forever green.
That greets me on my native strand
And hails me, with a friend's delight,
To my own dear bright mother land
Oh 'tis to me a heart-sweet scene,
The pine---the pine that's evergreen.
Not all the trees of England bright,
Not Erin's lawns of green and light
Are half so sweet to memories eye,
As this dear type of northern sky
The poem was also transcribed in Ojibwe. Here is the first few lines.
Shing wauk! shing wauk! nin ge ik id,
Waish kee wau bum ug, shing wauk
Tuh quishin aun nau aub, ain dak nuk i yuan
It is unknown whether it was written firsat in Ojibwe or in English.
I found the poem in The Norton Anthology of American Literature 8th edition vol. B. The biographical information about Jane came from that volume as well.
I think this ought to be the state poem of Michigan. What do you think?