Longfella was a cheat
Evangeline, ha. She’s as real as my imaginary friend I drink with every 2nd Friday.
He never got off his ass to visit Nova Scotia, or Grande Prè.
Gave a troubled people a past built on romantic soap opera poem.
Caused the Acadian Renaissance. Okay but . . . had a real past, too.
Liar and cheat; who else did you bamboozle into believing
your words were true.
Oh yeah Hiawatha+ by the Gichi-Gumi, by the shining Great Lake waters
and his lovely, tragic Minnehaha.
Real honest Native North American story, not.
And the DAR* on how Paul R. kept his ass on a horse to warn
the British are coming.
Seeing Revere’s silver-smithing — a truer and longer lasting legacy.
So what, you say, all this vitriol, this long tirade on Longfellow.
His worse crime went unreported. Doubt he’d repent, anyways.
He looks in later photographs and as his bust at Grand Prè
just like my father.
If my father made it that long.
But he already had the whitening beard, and
sometimes the wild hair.
And Longfellow never came to Nova Scotia? Ha.
Not by a long shot. That Longfella fella.
+ Song of Hiawatha
* Daughters of the American Revolution (“Paul Revere’s Ride”)
Longfellow cropped from a photo with Senator Charles Sumner
I don’t have a scanned photo of my dad with hair and beard to show the resemblance, but it’s there.
Bust of Longfellow at Grand Prè Historic Site dedicated to the Acadians, including the fictional Evangeline. My father could have been the sculptor’s model.