Day 27: The Song of Hiawatha: Hiawatha's Childhood and Hiawatha's Departure
My dad has recited pieces of this for a long time, ever since I was young, and so I decided to read it--or parts of it. The poem is gigantor...each section has several stanzas, and I think there's 15-20 parts....long poem. Anyway, I decided to read Hiawatha's childhood, which was good. Nakomis takes care of him, and like all children, he asks what the sounds of the night are, like owls, crickets and things, and she patiently answers him. I liked this section because it's so like kids--whatever age, whatever place you live in, kids are just as curious about everything...Longfellow was right on the money. Hiawatha's Departure, the next section I read, is really interesting, because Hiawatha receives the white man's religion with gladness and peace. I'm not against that, but I wonder if it's actually true...If Hiawatha was a real chief (which he probably isn't), all he would have received from the white man is disease and possibly religion, but not so easily as they make it sound, especially in Longfellow's times. But it's nice to think that they were well received; the explorers, on the other hand, were nightmares--they just wiped out everybody searching for gold and land, since they were sponsored by the royalty of various rich countries to discover the rest of the world. I'm not saying doubt the good relations between Hiawatha and the white man, but don't forget that our real history also holds some dark marks on us--disease, genocides, and greed.