The Song of Hiawatha
Dark behind it rose the forest,
Rose the black and gloomy pine-trees,
Rose the firs with cones upon them;
Bright before it beat the water,
Beat the clear and sunny water,
Beat the shining Big-Sea-Water.
from The Song of Hiawatha by Longfellow
Last spring, I wrote about Susan Jeffer’s beautifully illustrated book of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s epic poem The Song of Hiawatha. My good friend Janet recalled visiting Minnehaha Falls when she was a child and coming home to reread the poem. At the time, I mentioned it to Katy, hoping we could see it sometime when we came up to visit.
On Friday, looking for another park in Minneapolis on the computer, Minnehaha Falls appeared and Katy asked if that was the park I said I’d like to see. I’d forgotten it, but, yes, I did and it was in the vicinity of where we were headed, so, off we went.
What a beautiful day it was; warm and sunny and filled with the colors of Autumn. We wandered around, looking for the falls, for the statue of Hiawatha, for the “clear and sunny water” and as we headed toward a bench so Kezzie could be fed, I turned around and there it was, the statue of Hiawatha carrying Minnehaha.
We rested and we walked and we marveled at the waterfall and at the beauty surrounding us. The park is wonderful with miles of trails for walkers and bicyclists, and a gated dog run along the river. Minnehaha Park is right in Minneapolis.
Close to the falls is circular garden dedicated to the poem. A flower-filled fountain, plantings, and benches are within and it is surrounded by some of Longfellow’s words and etchings on the stones.
Longfellow never visited the falls.