The Song of Hiawatha

Front Cover
BiblioBazaar, 2008 - History - 324 pages
5 Reviews
The Song of Hiawatha is an epic verse of life in America before the coming of Europeans, written by one of our country's most notable poets. In creating the story of Hiawatha, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow used as his inspiration early ethnographic research into the life and folklore of the Great Lakes tribes. The poem is also undoubtedly the product of a European-American imagination, with its unabashedly romanticized look at a vanished way of life. First published in 1855 to critical acclaim, The Song of Hiawatha can be enjoyed both for its striking poetry and its interpretations of traditional Native American legends.

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Review: The Song of Hiawatha

User Review  - Karrie - Goodreads

I am re-re-reading this again. It always makes me smile and cry and want to sing and dance. I love Longfellow. I love Hiawatha. Read full review

Review: The Song of Hiawatha

User Review  - Tina - Goodreads

It was a sad and really inspiring story about indians Read full review

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About the author (2008)

During his lifetime, Longfellow enjoyed a popularity that few poets have ever known. This has made a purely literary assessment of his achievement difficult, since his verse has had an effect on so many levels of American culture and society. Certainly, some of his most popular poems are, when considered merely as artistic compositions, found wanting in serious ways: the confused imagery and sentimentality of "A Psalm of Life" (1839), the excessive didacticism of "Excelsior" (1841), the sentimentality of "The Village Blacksmith" (1839). Yet, when judged in terms of popular culture, these works are probably no worse and, in some respects, much better than their counterparts in our time. Longfellow was very successful in responding to the need felt by Americans of his time for a literature of their own, a retelling in verse of the stories and legends of these United States, especially New England. His three most popular narrative poems are thoroughly rooted in American soil. "Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie" (1847), an American idyll; "The Song of Hiawatha" (1855), the first genuinely native epic in American poetry; and "The Courtship of Miles Standish" (1858), a Puritan romance of Longfellow's own ancestors, John Alden and Priscilla Mullens. "Paul Revere's Ride," the best known of the "Tales of a Wayside Inn"(1863), is also intensely national. Then, there is a handful of intensely personal, melancholy poems that deal in very successful ways with those themes not commonly thought of as Longfellow's: sorrow, death, frustration, the pathetic drift of humanity's existence. Chief among these are "My Lost Youth" (1855), "Mezzo Cammin" (1842), "The Ropewalk" (1854), "The Jewish Cemetery at Newport" (1852), and, most remarkable in its artistic success, "The Cross of Snow," a heartfelt sonnet so personal in its expression of the poet's grief for his dead wife that it remained unpublished until after Longfellow's death. A professor of modern literature at Harvard College, Longfellow did much to educate the general reading public in the literatures of Europe by means of his many anthologies and translations, the most important of which was his masterful rendition in English of Dante's Divine Comedy (1865-67).

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