I Read Therefore I Am discussion

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Poem of the Day > 184 Hiawatha (an extract) - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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message 1: by Hilary (new)

Hilary | 2082 comments From the village of his childhood,
From the homes of those who knew him,
Passing silent through the forest,
Like a smoke-wreath wafted sideways,
Slowly vanished Chibiabos!
Where he passed, the branches moved not,
Where he trod, the grasses bent not,
And the fallen leaves of last year
Made no sound beneath his footstep.
Four whole days he journeyed onward
Down the pathway of the dead men;
On the dead-man's strawberry feasted,
Crossed the melancholy river,
On the swinging log he crossed it,
Came unto the Lake of Silver,
In the Stone Canoe was carried
To the Islands of the Blessed,
To the land of ghosts and shadows.


message 2: by Hilary (last edited Feb 12, 2014 01:10AM) (new)

Hilary | 2082 comments I've never read the whole poem, which is very long, but I have read chunks of it over the years. I love the rhythm of it, it reminds me of the way a steam train chugs along. In fact it was reading Raising Steam that reminded me of it. This is one of my favourite parts from Hiawatha's Lamentation.


message 3: by Angela (new)

Angela | 738 comments It's seems to describe a man apart, a figure embodying a solitary dominance. I like it.


message 4: by Lee (new)

Lee I like this very much - I'd only ever read Lewis Carroll's parody before - http://people.virginia.edu/%7Eds8s/ca...


message 5: by Hilary (new)

Hilary | 2082 comments @Angela if I remember rightly Chibiabos has died and Hiawatha is mourning him so much that the medicine men call upon the spirits to come to him. The sprit of Chibiabos comes from where he has lain under the sea and the medicine men give him a light to see his way to the land of the dead. Hiawatha is then healed of his melancholy.


message 6: by Angela (new)

Angela | 738 comments Thanks Hilary - it's certainly a poem of some depth.


message 7: by Tracey (new)

Tracey | 304 comments Yes it has a great rhythm that reminded me of deep jungle drums. It's really helpful knowing what the background story is.


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