(Poem #559) The Modern Hiawatha
He killed the noble Mudjokivis. Of the skin he made him mittens, Made them with the fur side inside, Made them with the skin side outside. He, to get the warm side inside, Put the inside skin side outside. He, to get the cold side outside, Put the warm side fur side inside. That's why he put the fur side inside, Why he put the skin side outside, Why he turned them inside outside.
Yesterday, Martin wrote: "In some poems, though (Longfellow's 'Hiawatha' is probably the most famous example) the form (and, in particular, the metre) stands out quite independent of the poem's contents, and is often what the reader carries away as his chief impression of the poem (for instance, I could write a Hiawatha parody far more easily than I could quote much of the actual verse)". Truth to tell, 'Parodies of Hiawatha' probably qualifies as a poetic genre in itself... today's offering is merely one of my favourite examples thereof. Beyond that, there's really not much more I can say, is there? thomas. [Links] The complete 'Song of Hiawatha' is rather long; you can find it at [broken link] http://www.geocities.com/~spanoudi/poems/hiawatha.html An extract, 'Hiawatha's Departure', has featured an the Minstrels; it's archived at poem #362 In the commentary accompanying that extract, I mention another of my favourite Hiawatha spinoffs, Carroll's hilarious 'Hiawatha's Photography'. You can read it (along with some wonderful illustrations by Arthur Frost) at http://www.people.virginia.edu/~bhs2u/carroll/hia.html