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bdNM
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Questions and observations on "Song of Hiawatha" V ("Hiawatha's Fasting")

As Hiawatha travels about and notices the crops, the fruits and the animal life that human life depends on, he cries out (3x) 'Master of Life!...Must our lives depend on these things?"  This is a pretty common theme in literature -- the evanescence of life.  "Vanity, vanity, all is vanity" would be an example, but there are lots.

I like how the spirit of corn calls out 'Let not Kahgahgee, the raven,/come to haunt me and molest me...'  Seems very appropriate. 

Dignity, always dignity.
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Peppermill
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Re: Questions and observations on "Song of Hiawatha" V ("Hiawatha's Fasting")

[ Edited ]

The following passage from Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha, which I was reading for other reasons this weekend, reminds me of Hiawatha as he learns from the creatures of the forest and the plains:

 

"Instructed by the oldest if the Samanas, Siddhartha practised self-denial, practised meditation, according to a new Samana rules. A heron flew over the bamboo forest--and Siddhartha accepted the heron into his soul, flew over forest and mountains, was a heron, ate fish, felt the pangs of a heron's hunger, spoke the heron's croak, died a heron's death. A dead jackal was lying on the sandy bank, and Siddhartha's soul slipped inside the body, was the dead jackal, lay on the banks, got bloated, stank, decayed, was dismembered by hyenas, was skinned by vultures, turned into a skeleton, turned to dust, was blown across the fields. And Siddhartha's soul returned, had died, had decayed, was scattered as dust, had tasted the gloomy intoxication of the cycle, awaited in new thirst like a hunter in the gap, where he could escape from the cycle, where the end of the causes, where an eternity without suffering began. He killed his senses, he killed his memory, he slipped out of his self into thousands of other forms, was an animal, was carrion, was stone, was wood, was water, and awoke every time to find his old self again, sun shone or moon, was his self again, turned round in the cycle, felt thirst, overcame the thirst, felt new thirst."


Siddhartha, Chapter 2

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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bdNM
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Re: Questions and observations on "Song of Hiawatha" V ("Hiawatha's Fasting")

The Hesse piece does seem very appropriate.

Dignity, always dignity.