Enjoy a segment of one of the most-parodied poems in English.

I wonder what the official attitude of Native Americans is these days to Longfellow's work?

     Posted By: Paul - Sun Jun 12, 2011
     Category: Stereotypes and Cliches | Poetry | Nineteenth Century

Please tell me the narrator doesn't make a living at it!

Anyhoo... Our float in my Sr. year homecoming parade was based on Hiawatha and took 1st place for originality. I've not thought of that in decades so, thanks, Paul, for dredging up forgotten memories.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 06/12/11 at 12:11 PM
My pleasure, Expat!
Posted by Paul on 06/12/11 at 01:01 PM

The narration in this piece sounded more like one of those "text to speech" programs than a live narrator. The Trochaic Meter was completely lost and made one of the best examples of it's type of poetry sound flat and lifeless. Still, Paul, it was a good find and reminded me also of some of the finer moments of my youth.

Trochaic meter

A front stressed two syllable foot.

e.g. The Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

BY the | SHORES of | GIT chee | GUMee,

This example is trochaic tetrameter - i.e. four two syllable feet. Therefore the total line has eight syllables. Trochaic meter is less commonly used than iambic meter. Trochaic is an example of falling meter

The Trochaic Tetrameter gives the reading a rhythm reminiscent of the beat of a Tom-Tom drum in a ceremonial dance. And that, along with the great writing, is what makes "The Song of Hiawatha" such a loved classic.
Posted by yogi in Kennesaw GA on 06/12/11 at 04:43 PM
It is a rather flat reading, Yogi is right about the rythm making the piece.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 06/12/11 at 10:26 PM
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.