Shannon: A Poem of the Lewis and Clark Expedition

Shannon: A Poem of the Lewis and Clark Expedition - Campbell McGrath

I didn't expect to like this one as much as I did, not being a huge fan of American history, nor knowing much about it, in fact. But my attention was already caught by the fact that this whole book is one poem, divided into 15 sections. Each part is like another day during which Shannon wandered alone, his total wandering having lasted for 16 days.


It's not so much an educational poem about the Lewis and Clark expedition, but rather a coming of age, as the author stated himself, and a fictitious one at that. What the poem did wonderfully was illustrate the surroundings and deliver the mentality and atmosphere of the time period, from the details Shannon"rambled on" about his family, to the diction of the writing itself. One 'chapter', 13, was by far my favourite in that regard because of how suddenly the style of the writing changed. It felt like Shannon's hunger was finally taking a tole on him and his mind, the way the thoughts were even more jumbled and seemingly all over the place.


It's a book I'll come back to in a few years to fully appreciate it. Right now though it was still pleasant read that created a complete atmosphere and made for another good, leisurely read.