Monday, July 23, 2007

EVANGELINE

 EVANGELINE
Evangeline,
Her story begins in what is now called Nova Scotia, in French, it is Nouvelle Ecosse meaning New Scotland.
The year was 1604, & a settlement Acadie/Acadia was begun. These Acadians farmed & expanded their settlement & lived in peace & harmony with the Indians of the MICMAC tribes, who incidentally 300years later gained renown for their ability to work high steel, having no fear of heights.
Quite separate from other settlements the population grew to maybe 15,000 in the next 140years. They had no quarrel with the French, & remained neutral in any conflict between them & the British. When the Acadians refused to take sides with the British against the French in 1755 is when the tragedy of Evangeline begins. The British decided to break up the settlements of Acadia by exiling them. Thus the GREAT EXPULSION began. The British did not simply exile these peaceful people but forcibly separated husband & wife, brother & sister. Evangeline, promised in marriage to one of my ancestors, was torn from her true love. The British loaded these people on ships & off loaded them in diverse ports up & down the Eastern coast, & up accessible river ports.
Some of these people ended up in Louisiana, later to become “Cajuns”, from Acadians.
Evangeline wandered throughout the land, always hoping to reunite with her betrothed.
As an older woman, never having stopped her search, she ended up in Philadelphia nursing the poor. During an epidemic in the city as she was caring for the destitute sick, she finally found her lover who died in her arms.
I have personally been to many places that have taken up “Evangeline” as a personification of the Acadians, in Nova Scotia & New Brunswick.
In 1845, the mostly forgotten history of the Acadians was revived by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, when he started writing the poem EVANGELINE, A Tale Of Acadie.
As this is “Ladies Night” at my place, I wish to honor all special ladies with this tale, & especially Evangeline, who you may notice, is one of the Lifetime Achievement Award
Honorees.

10 comments:

dada said...

emmylou harris: O Evangeline, from the album: Stumble Into Grace

O Evangeline you been gone so long
And for a time it seemed
Every road you took turned wrong
But a second chance would come
With each new bridge you burned
I know you squandered some
But then from some you learned
And the point of rescue well
You passed that long ago
O but to hear you teil it was
Just another part of the show
O Evangeline your faith shone blind and true
We raise our glass and sing
Of you Evangeline

O Evangeline you with no kith or kin
The nights so hard and mean
You shed them like a skin
For you were always strong
When the bad slid down to worse
You still had that song
It was your blessing and your curse
But in your tongue
There is no word for home
There'll be no one
To roll away the stone
O Evangeline you have been a prisoner here
Bread and roses we shall bring
To you Evangeline

O Evangeline what are you fighting for
You stayed out in that ring
When nobody's even keepin' score
But round by round you earned
Your stumble into grace
Still with every turn the world
Becomes a sadder place
It swallows up the ones
You have loved the most
So you sleep with none
You wake with ghosts
O Evangeline
You have salted with your tears
Every lonely mile you've seen
Thru the years Evangeline

It's a fatal shore
You now wash upon
So weary of the war
And no longer young
O Evangeline your voice
Risin' sweet and clear
We close our eyes and dream
Of you Evangeline

peace

Knucklehead said...

dada,
Thank you for sharing this beautiful poetry with us.
The title of the album is also ironically the story of Evangeline.

Family Man said...

Hi Head.

Beautiful story and picture.

One of the few nights that I stayed up late in the Cafe, we were talking about the South, and I told Booman that New Orleans was an entity to itself. Most of Southern LA is like walking into another country. I guess to me, that's what makes it fun to go down there. But it wouldn't have happened without the descendants of the Acadians there.

I like the cactus on planet earth, but tell Teri that the reef panorama look great.

Knucklehead said...

FM,
I remember when the accordions & fiddles came out at family reunions on PEI & in New Brunswick.
When I see the Cajuns in documentaries or even in movies, it reminds me that these people are my aunts & uncles.
The "Reef Garden" is 8" high by 96" long, in the photo I created out of 15/16 shots. I can send you a bigger size than the one you can see unless you can see a large version in flicker.
She`ll be pleased to know her reef is competing with mine. Thanks FM

tatudave said...

"Don' fuck wid us"

Scene from the movie "Southern Comfort" where Cajun local tells National Guard members how it is in dem der bayous'

Knucklehead said...

Tatu,
I remember an old story about one of the local bayou men.
He was asked if lawmen entered deep into the bayous.
He said "yes, a lot of them come in, but not as many make it out."
Mostly, if you leave people be, they don`t have reason to mess with you.

tatudave said...

AMEN!

tatudave said...

"Peace, above all things, is to be desired, but blood must sometimes be spilled to obtain it on equable and lasting terms"...

...President Andrew Jackson

NDD said...

Very interesting story about Evangeline. (And btw my favorite music is Cajun)

Also very much enjoyed the "A Day at the Pond" slide show. Lots of great shots, almost feel like I'm there.

Knucklehead said...

NDD,
I`m glad you enjoyed your stay at the pond.
As it says on the tank from the smoked whatever, tha that That`s all folks