Elizabeth Millard

Elizabeth Millard: On "Crazy Horse in Stillness"

For Heyen, Crazy Horse embodied the spirituality of Native American culture as well as the fierce passion of a people under attack. The stillness of Crazy Horse would cause the air and the words around him to hum with an energy these poems echo in soft, intense vibration. Indeed, for Heyen, Crazy Horse seems to function as a muse in the ether, guiding the rhythm and topic of each poem. Heyen also includes many poems about Elizabeth Custer, left at home and reading the letters of her battle-weary husband, painting a portrait of Iron Horse, and remembering fragments of her life. Finally, Heyen draws apt parallels between General Custer and Crazy Horse, giving the collection thought-provoking as well as lyrical qualities.