The Fireside Poets: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Oliver Wendel Holmes
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born on February 27, 1807 in Portland, Maine to the mother Zilpah Wadsworth and the father Stephen Longfellow who was a politician and a lawyer.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was an influential American poet, translator (He was the first American poet to translate Dante Alighieri's epic poem The Divine Comedy) and a professor at the Harvard University.
One of Longfellow's most pretentious work is Evangeline: A tale of Acadie, an epic poem which follows the Acadian girl Evangeline and her search for her love Gabriel, a poem set during the time of the Expulsion of the Acadians (The forced removal by the British of the French colonist from the present day US state of Maine and several Canadian provinces, dated 1755-1764), a poem that had a powerful effect in not only defining Acadian history, but also its identity throughout the nineteenth and twentieth century. The poem was published in 1874 and became Longfellow's Magnum Opus.
During Longfellow's lifetime he was considered to be the very best of all American poets, as Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. declared that Longfellow was the best American poet he has yet to see, and praised his ability to write the way he did: even though that most of Longfellow's work has been categorized as lyric poetry and widely translated and published in other languages; Italian, German and French to note a few, Longfellow experimented with a variety of style forms such as hexameter (A metrical line of a verse consisting of six feet – where as in feet are the basic metrical unit that yields a line of a verse in poetry) and free verse (An open form of poetry which follows the rhythm of natural speech instead of consistent meter patterns, rhyme or such musical pattern).
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...many in his famous “Breakfast-Table” essay series which had a conversational tone, which came into the mainstream thanks to James Russell Lowell, the editor of Atlantic Monthly, who published it.
The Atlantic Monthly came to serialize his novel Elsie Venner in 1859, though popular in most circles, this first novel of Holmes was condemned to be heretical by some churches, meanwhile, others viewed it as an assault on Calvinism. Later on in 1886, Holmes travelled to Europe for the second time, and while in London, Holmes was praised as a great writer with the primary source of his essays (Especially The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table) being the reason, however, Holmes had always wanted to be well known for his poetry.
It was in these essays that Holmes revealed how poetry can infiltrate an entire life – of which his own life ended on October 7, 1894 of natural causes.