Song of Hiawatha, paperbackbo15
This poem, written in iambic octameter, was, in turn, inspired by the Finnish epic poem, "the Kalevala." Longfellow had hoped to create a work that would enter the pantheon of mythic literature, along the lines of "Beowulf," or "the Mahabharata," or "Le Chanson de Roland."
What he did was get people to look at Indians as people, not savages. Naturally this ticked off the racists of the time and won him much criticism, but those racists are long dead and the poem lives on. Read some of the excerpts here. They'll either grab you or they won't. The poem is a masterpiece on many levels as history, a story, word sounds, and rhythm and we're happy to be a source for this most magnificent edition ever, published by David Godine.