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The Song of Hiawatha An Epic Poem   By: (1807-1882)

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"The Song of Hiawatha" is a captivating epic poem penned by the renowned poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. This masterpiece takes readers on an enchanting journey, unfurling a tale deeply rooted in Native American folklore and culture.

Longfellow weaves a mesmerizing narrative that follows the life of Hiawatha, a heroic figure from the Ojibwa tribe. The poem is divided into numerous sections, each beautifully exploring different stages of his life. Through vivid imagery and lyrical language, the author transports readers to the lush landscapes of the Great Lakes region, immersing them in Hiawatha's world.

One of the notable aspects of this epic poem is the musicality of its rhythm and rhyme scheme. Longfellow adopts the trochaic tetrameter, creating a distinctive cadence reminiscent of traditional Native American chants. This deliberate choice not only celebrates indigenous oral traditions but also infuses the verses with a unique and enchanting quality.

The characterization of Hiawatha is another strength of this epic poem. Longfellow expertly portrays him as a noble and valiant hero, whose journey encompasses many challenges and triumphs. From his childhood and training with the wise Nokomis, to his encounters with mystical creatures and conflicts with rival tribes, Hiawatha's character evolves and grows throughout the poem.

Furthermore, "The Song of Hiawatha" beautifully incorporates elements of spirituality and mysticism. Longfellow effortlessly blends Native American mythology and legends into the narrative, introducing readers to various deities and spirits. It is through these mystical encounters that Hiawatha gains wisdom and enlightenment, emphasizing the interconnectedness of the natural world and the spiritual realm.

While the epic poem showcases Longfellow's admiration for Native American culture, it is important to acknowledge the potential shortcomings of this work. Written during a time when stereotypes pervaded popular culture, some critics argue that Longfellow may have perpetuated certain inaccuracies or romanticized aspects of Indigenous traditions.

Nevertheless, "The Song of Hiawatha" remains a significant literary achievement, marking an important milestone in American poetry. Longfellow's masterful storytelling and evocative imagery continue to captivate readers, inviting them to explore the rich tapestry of Native American heritage. This epic poem serves as a testament to the power of literature to preserve and celebrate diverse cultures, and it undoubtedly deserves its place among the classics of American literature.

First Page:


Vainly walked he through the forest, Sought for bird or beast and found none.]

The Song of Hiawatha

An Epic Poem


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow



Song of Hiawatha


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow





Introduction 7

CANTO I The Peace Pipe 13

CANTO II The Four Winds 21

CANTO III Hiawatha's Childhood 35

CANTO IV Hiawatha and Mudge Keewis 45

CANTO V Hiawatha's Fasting 59

CANTO VI Hiawatha's Friends 72

CANTO VII Hiawatha's Sailing 80

CANTO VIII Hiawatha's Fishing 87

CANTO IX Hiawatha and the Pearl Feather 98

CANTO X Hiawatha's Wooing 111

CANTO XI Hiawatha's Wedding Feast 124

CANTO XII The Son... Continue reading book >>

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