Hiawatha – 2018 Edition. “Liawatha” by Tom Kratman.

I wrote 4000 words on Merchant and Empire yesterday, and the end of the book is in sight. My brain is fried, therefore I present a little something by Col. Tom Kratman. Language warning for the poem, so it is below the fold. Yes, it is very political.

The Song of Hiawatha is a 19th century epic poem based on actual mythology from the Indians near the Great Lakes. Although people make fun of it, Longfellow’s poem is a great story, although the ending is a little strange for modern readers. It, and Evangeline have been parodied many times.

However, during this election season, the poem serves as a wonderful setting for, well, you’ll see. The opening of the original’s second section:

On the Mountains of the Prairie,
On the great Red Pipe-stone Quarry*,
Gitche Manito, the mighty,
He the Master of Life, descending,
On the red crags of the quarry
Stood erect, and called the nations,
Called the tribes of men together.
From his footprints flowed a river,
Leaped into the light of morning,
O’er the precipice plunging downward
Gleamed like Ishkoodah, the comet.
And the Spirit, stooping earthward,
With his finger on the meadow
Traced a winding pathway for it,
Saying to it, “Run in this way!”
From the red stone of the quarry
With his hand he broke a fragment,
Moulded it into a pipe-head,
Shaped and fashioned it with figures;
From the margin of the river
Took a long reed for a pipe-stem,
With its dark green leaves upon it;
Filled the pipe with bark of willow,
With the bark of the red willow;
Breathed upon the neighboring forest,
Made its great boughs chafe together,
Till in flame they burst and kindled;
And erect upon the mountains,
Gitche Manito, the mighty,
Smoked the calumet, the Peace-Pipe,
As a signal to the nations.

From: http://www.hwlongfellow.org/poems_poem.php?pid=63

*The pipestone quarry is in southern Minnesota near the town of Pipestone and is still in use. it is small but worth the visit.

Col. Kratman’s updated version [Language Warning: Not for the easily offended]:

Part the First

By the banks of the Charles River,
Right across the shining gilt dome,

On the application job-worth,
Near the old prestigious brick yard,
Lieawatha, also known as
Spreading Bull and Fauxcahontas,
Filled her out the little boxes
Checked she off the lie, “Cherokee.”
Never thinking she’d be found out
Thinking much of salary bloated
Contemplating huge fees speaking
Prestige endless, public office.
Thought she, “What’s one little white lie;
Lesser still one little red one?”
In she turned the application.
Made she Harvard swoon in virtue
“Have we now our red professor!
Better still, red not in one way,
But in two, with massive virtue,
From her ancestors oppressed.”
Drew she then the massive salary
As her students became debt-slaves.
Ran she then for public office,
With her resume of virtue,
And she won but still some noticed
That her story didn’t add up.
Yet lived she in Massachusetts
Where the palatable lie is
Infinitely preferable
To the truth, hard and unvarnished,
Just provided that the students
And the professoriate loony
Can still feel their wondrous virtue,
Signaling it to the whole world.

Part the Second

Never ended then the questions
And the snickers from the knowing.
While the President, he pointed,
Laughing loudly, too, and sneering
At the worse-than-dumb presumption
That this white bitch was an Indian.
Then had she an idea brilliant;
“I shall take a DNA test,
Which will prove beyond a shadow
That my family’s half-remembered
Poorly researched anecdotals
Were still true and I am truly
Of the blood of Great Sequoyah.”
Then took she the DNA test
And released the answers given
To the fawning lefty papers
Globe and New York Times and WaPo
Whereupon those selfsame papers
Wrapped themselves in shrouds of virtue
Saying loudly, each and every,
That this proved beyond a single
Little nagging doubt forever
That our professorial injun
And our senatorial redskin
Was exactly what she had said,
And, in truth, a real live Indian.
Then the libertarian dummies,
Hating Trump beyond all reason
Loudly echoed just that feeling
Because even like the papers
The illiterate motherfuckers
Never realized that there is no
Possible test that could prove that
Anyone in any position

Was indeed a fucking injun.

Part the Third

“Opps,” she said, when it was pointed
Out, in every nook and crannie,
That the test so widely vaunted,
Not just failed to prove her truthful,
But made her and all the others
Look most stupid and dishonest,
And the best that she could hope for
Was that she might be an Inca.
“Oops,” said she, again, as soon as
She came to the understanding
That her highest aspirations
Had just disappeared in thin smoke,
And she’d given ammunition
In the form of sundry jokings
To whoever might oppose her
From the now to the forever.
Worse and worse it now did turn out
Or, more truly, was more noticed,
That her family’s sole connection
To the people called “Cherokee”
Was her multi-great grandfather who,
In manner most SS-like
Herded men, women, and children
Of the people called, “Cherokee,”
To the concentration camp whence
They were marched to Oklahoma
On the rout of which they perished
Men and women, little children,
In huge numbers all uncounted,
Buried by the trail unmarked
With their spirits long now fuming
That this white bitch with no linkage
Except that of crime and murder
Should still profit from their suff’ring.
Then the spirits laughed,

9 thoughts on “Hiawatha – 2018 Edition. “Liawatha” by Tom Kratman.

  1. Interesting, but I have difficulty believing it’s truly Kratman, unless this is a kinder, gentler version. There’s no mention of crucifixion or hanging.

  2. Seriously, Kratman is one of the great literary writers of our era.

    1. Perhaps this may earn him the Poet Laureate position he has long deserved.
    2. It is good that I am poor, because otherwise I would have more money than sense. I’m tempted to print an edition of a hoax newspaper published by the Cherokee Nazi Party with this.

    • Yes, liked what I read- real talent. I was simply having a bit of fun with one of his written topic.

      Now, if I can get the the scale back to F major and away from Carp major …

      (ducks from the next shot)

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