Author(s): Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Includes"The Song of Hiawatha""Paul Revere's Ride""The Courtship of Miles Standish""The Wreck of the Hesperus" Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was the first American poet to successfully express the subjects and sentiments of the New World in classic old-world form and style. While his narrative poems have long been a part of our national heritage, and his sonnets, with their superb melodies and harmonies, are among the finest American poems in the Romantic tradition. The distinguished modern poet Horace Gregory has selected more than three dozen of Longfellow's most enduring poems for this edition, which offers a perceptive insight into the many facets of Longfellow's genius. With a Preface by Edward M. Cifelli Ph.D., an Introduction by Horace Gregory, and a New Afterword
The life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-82) was a mixture of triumph and tragedy, fulfillment and disappointment. His youthful ambitions were all literary, but to please his father, he became a teacher. During the eight years he taught modern languages at Bowdoin College and the eighteen years he lectured at Harvard, however, his pen was not idle: Thirteen of his books were published, including "Evangeline" (1847), the polemic "Poems on Slavery "(1842), and "The Golden Legend" (1851). In 1855, the year after Longfellow gave up teaching in order to devote his full efforts to writing, his friend Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote him, "No other poet has anything like your vogue." Public triumphs were sometimes overshadowed by private grief. Longfellow was married twice: In 1836, his wife of five years died in childbirth. Seven years later, after a long, sometimes painful courtship, he married Elizabeth Appleton and settled in historic Craigie House, Cambridge, Massachusetts. In a tragic accident, she was burned to death in 1861, leaving the poet with six children to rear. Longfellow overcame his sorrow and continued his work, which was acclaimed throughout America and Europe. In 1881, the year before his death, his birthday was celebrated in schools all over America. Three years later, a bust of Longfellow was unveiled in the Poet's Corner, Westminster Abbey. Edward M. Cifelli, Ph.D., has taught British and American literature for more than thirty-five years and is the author or editor of seven books, including biographies of poets David Humphreys and John Ciardi. A regular essayist on poetry for several magazines, he is currently at work on a book about Arkansas poet Miller Williams. Horace Gregory (1898-1982) was an American poet most noted for his dramatic structure and penetrating insights into the harshness of contemporary life. Among his volumes are "Chelsea Rooming House "(1930), "Poems 1930-40" (1941), and "Another Look "(1976). He also made translations of the poems of Catullus and of Ovid's "Metamorphoses. "