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Catawba is referenced twice in Stevens' poem "Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction." There are multiple towns and regions in the U.S. called by this name, including Catawba, Ohio, Catawba, North Carolina, Catawba, South Carolina, Catawba, Virgina, and Catawba, Wisconsin. Though the poet does not make explicit which Catawba is referenced, it seems likely that "Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction" refers to the region in North and South Carolina once home to the Catawba Indians. 

"Notes Toward a Surpreme Fiction" Edit

There was a mystic marriage in Catawba,
At noon it was on the mid-day of the year
Between a great captain and the maiden Bawda...

The great captain loved the ever-hill Catawba 
And therefore married Bawda, whom he found there,
And Bawda loved the captain as she loved the sun.  (pages 346-47)
Catawba Wateree River basin map


Catawba serves as the setting for this "mystic marriage," perhaps in part because of the sense of mysticism stereotypically associated with Native American names and regions.