Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Sat the little Hiawatha;
Heard the whispering of the pine-trees,
Sounds of music, words of wonder . . ."
The infectious rhythm of The Song of Hiawatha has captured the ears of millions. Once drawn in, they've stayed to hear about the young brave with the magic moccasins, who talks with animals and uses his supernatural gifts to bring peace and enlightenment to his people.
America's most popular nineteenth-century poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow devoted himself to providing his country with a national mythology, poetic tradition, and epic forms. Known and loved by generations of schoolchildren for its evocative storytelling, his 1855 classic is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature, combining romance and idealism in an idyllic natural setting.
Artist-illustrator Herbert Meyer's illustrations give new life to Longfellow's epic poem. Besides being warmly evocative, they are historically authentic, for the artist did extensive research on the American Indians. Meyer's artistic vision does full justice to Longfellow's immortal epic, which is not only an American favorite, but is known and admired throughout the world for its hauntingly beautiful poetry.
The Song of Hiawatha's particular blend of myth and history, native tradition and foreign influence has survived the years, and its artistic authenticity is undisputed. The same, we hope, can be said for the illustrations of Herbert Meyer, brought to light in this new, digital edition.
“When thou are not pleased, beloved, / Then my heart is sad and darkened, / As the shining river darkens / When the clouds drop shadows on it!” - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Song of Hiawatha
The Song of Hiawatha is an epic poem inspired after the Ojibwe - a Native American tribe - myths and legends. Read about the making of the world we live in and about the adventures of Hiawatha - the hero who invented written language and discovered corn - as seen by one Amerindian tribe.
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Longfellow has also enjoyed fame worldwide; in England, his poems outsold those of Browning and Tennyson. In addition to being a gifted poet, Longfellow had a brilliant career as a college professor. He wrote numerous critical works and translations, and was also a leading American Dante scholar. He frequently wrote letters, and his admirers often sought his advice on personal and professional matters.