Longfellow essay

Always has been and always will be. And all the noises that may be made later in that house will be like a scandalous din, ugly echoes from one room to another, from one corridor to another, sharp and discordant as if the walls are no longer able to absorb any music once the source of harmony has been taken away.

Longfellow essay

Introduction Longfellow is one of the monumental cultural figures of nineteenth-century America, the nation's preeminent poet in his era, whose verse is notable for its lyric beauty, its gentle moralizing, and its immense popularity.

A New Englander through and through who traveled widely in Europe and knew a dozen languages, a Harvard professor, and the country's first professional poet, Longfellow heralded a new spirit in American letters. His fame grew until it took on a life of its own, and he was revered and beloved to a degree few poets have been before or since.

When Longfellow began his literary career in the s, poetry often seemed a needless luxury to the practical-minded citizens of the still-young American republic. Along with such other genteel poets as William Cullen Bryant, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and James Russell Lowell, Longfellow played an important role not just in helping make poetry respectable, but more broadly in refining and cultivating middle-class readers.

In the gentle hands of Longfellow, readers could be introduced to the finer things in life — domestic sympathies, noble aspirations, spiritual consolations, the glories of high culture — without ever being made to feel intimidated or inadequate.

A peculiarly American mixture, Longfellow was both a patrician and a populist, an artist of elite social background whose writing reverberated with the masses.

One reader, a Mrs. Julia Willard, captured the experience of many when she wrote Longfellow, late in his life, "Your beautiful poems have been a rest, a blessing, a sweet, pure, calming benediction to me ever since I learned to read them in my childhood years.

Americans read his poetry by firesides, in schools, at public occasions; they heard musical renditions sung in parlors and concert-halls; Longfellow essay children celebrated his birthday in school and memorized and recited his poems.

Because of his singularly large reputation, a result not only of the place he carved out for himself but also of sustained promotional efforts on the part of his publishers and defenders, Longfellow became a looming presence, an important symbol for his fellow Americans, representing a set of values and meanings that changed as the country did through the century.

Although his reputation declined precipitously after his death ina Longfellow revival of kinds may now be under way as it becomes possible to see afresh his considerable poetic achievements and historical significance.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, c. Poetry The nature of Longfellow's poetic genius is elusive, hard to pin down, though it may help to recall that first and foremost he was a public poet.

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That is to say, he always wrote with his audience in mind, paternally consoling and uplifting them in lyrics, ballads, odes, sonnets, verse dramas, and the long narrative poems whose characters became hallmarks of American culture: The essential note of his poetry, its sweet and settling mildness, its serene reassurance, was perfectly modulated to appeal to the reading public.

This was socially responsible poetry, poetry with purpose, whose often explicit message urged such virtues as patience, resignation, and hard work.

Given these themes, it seems fitting that as a poetical craftsman he was not boldly original or radically experimental, as were his contemporaries Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson.

Rather, Longfellow fashioned his poems out of tried-and-true materials: Indeed, he adopted as a personal motto a Latin phrase, Non clamor sed amor, borrowed from an anonymous poem he himself translated: The remark highlights the way Longfellow's literary strength lies not in breaking rules, but in following them, not in transgressing, but in staying within bounds.

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Longfellow always felt himself dutifully answerable to his readers — he was a poet, quite literally, with a known address — and this sense of public obligation shaped his poetry and his life in fundamental ways. Though Longfellow was hardly a poet of the startlingly new, he undeniably did break new ground in American poetry, and this was in large part due to the way that, in him, expressive poetic genius met and battled with the stolid forces of New England repression.

The result was a strange kind of poetry, shuttling between America and Europe, between Puritan reticence and Romantic feeling, between pious instruction and aesthetic pleasure, between aristocratic ideals and egalitarian principle. Longfellow held these oppositions together by keeping his poetry's energies oriented toward his readers.

In other words, the popular success of this often self-contradictory poet may have been possible only because the United States in the mid-to-late nineteenth century was such a conflicted place.

Longfellow managed to speak to the conflicts and at the same time to seem a safe haven, an anchor in the storm. Longfellow, photographed by Mathew Brady, Life and Fame Longfellow's benign poetic temperament owes much to his full and fortunate life. Born in Portland inwhen that bustling port city was still part of Massachusetts, Longfellow came from an old, established family of lawyers, judges, and generals.


Enrolled at Bowdoin College by the age of fourteen, during his senior year Longfellow published no less than sixteen poems in a leading literary journal, the United States Literary Gazette. Upon his graduation the Bowdoin trustees his father conveniently happened to be one!

He stayed for four, returning to Maine to start his teaching career in His next years were productive ones, and his ambition, hard work, and social connections paid off when inat the age of 28, he was offered the most prestigious position in his field what we would now call "Comparative Literature" that the country had to offer: Granted a year to travel in Europe before taking up his duties, Longfellow was in Rotterdam with his wife Mary Potter Longfellow when she suffered a miscarriage and died from its complications.

Distraught, he continued to drift through Europe for the rest of the year.Turnitin provides instructors with the tools to prevent plagiarism, engage students in the writing process, and provide personalized feedback.

Longfellow essay

The sea I sail has never yet been passed: Emulating Dante’s talent for internal rhymes laced with hypnotic sonic patterns, Longfellow expertly repeats the s’s to give his line a sinuous, propulsive feel, which is exactly what Dante aims for in his line, as he gestures toward the originality and.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow can thank his family and peers for helping him develop into one of the most admired poets. “Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was .

Jan 03,  · Henry Wadsworth Longfellow American poet, novelist, translator, playwright, and travel writer.

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