John Neihardt’s Poetry

John Neihardt in his 80s

Most of Neihardt’s lyric poetry was written before 1912. In that year, at the age of 31, he began work on his Cycle of the West. When John Neihardt began working on the Cycle, he entered a new phase of his writing life, leaving behind his Lyrics and focusing on his major work.

The lyric poetry appeared originally in three separate volumes, A Bundle Of Myrrh, The Poet’s Town and Stranger At The Gate.  Also, originally published under the title Two Mothers were two dramatic poems, Eight Hundred Rubles and Agrippina.

The follow two videos are lyrics taken from A Poet’s Town.


Hark the Music

When I Have Gone Weird Ways

Somewhere around 1910, my grandfather, John Neihardt, wrote a poem titled: When I have Gone Weird Ways. It was published in 1912 in a collection called “The Poet’s Town”. Neihardt recorded recitations of his Lyrics at the age of 90 and a record was released by United Artists in 1972. I rediscovered the old 33 1/3 record in 2007 and started on a project to write orchestral accompaniments for many of the Lyrics. In 2010, I completed the project and released a CD titled The ‘Broidered Garment of the Soul.  Last year I filmed a monsoon shower as the sun was setting. The film clip ran for about 22 minutes as the storm passed and the sun set. A few days ago, I brought the film into Media Composer  to make a video using this film clip and the music and recitation of “When I Have Gone Weird Ways.” The result is this video, I hope you enjoy it!

A Child’s Heritage

A Child’s Heritage is part of a collection of lyric poems titled A Stranger At The Gate, published in 1912.


This video uses John Neihardt reciting his poem Easter, from The Poet’s Town

Easter, written by John G. Neihardt, is from his collection of poems, “The Poet’s Town”. This and other collections are available in the book titled: “Lyric and Dramatic Poems of John G. Neihardt” published by the University of Nebraska Press. Copies of the book are available at https://neihardt.com/store/