Longfellow’s poetic tale of Hiawatha, a primeval Native American hero based on legendary figures of indigenous mythology, will enchant you with its distinctive rhythm that begs you to read it aloud. Follow the young Hiawatha, son of the West Wind, into the unspoilt wilderness where he learns the ways of nature, woos the beautiful Minnehaha, and becomes a leader and defender of his people. Beauty, romance, struggle, tragedy, and a pervasive elegiac tone give this epic poem a narrative power that will linger in your imagination.
Inspired by the mythology of the Ojibwe, Dakota, Cree, and Onondaga indigenous peoples of North America, as well as the poetic achievement and singing cadence of the Finnish Kalevala, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow fashioned a true epic that fuses the nobility of Native American culture and the great Western epic tradition. An instant hit from its first publication in 1855, The Song of Hiawatha remained a best-seller throughout America and Europe for generations, and inspired public readings, musical and artistic works, and affectionate parodies for decades.
This Nova & Vetera edition contains a new introductory essay situating the genesis of this American original within both the European and the Native American traditions of storytelling. Additionally, this illustrated volume pays homage to historic editions of the poem in a clean, readable layout that incorporates the evocative illustrations of Harrison Fisher which first appeared in the 1906 Minnehaha edition.
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