Essay PreviewMore ↓
Look then, into thine heart, and write!
“Master Henry Longfellow is one of the best boys we have in school. He spells and reads very well. He can also add and multiply numbers. His conduct last quarter was very correct and amiable.” This quote is from a letter sent home from Longfellow’s school when he was just six years old.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born February 27, 1807, in Portland, Maine. He was the son of Stephen Longfellow and Zilpah Wadsworth Longfellow. Early on, his parents could see that he had an interest in literature. His mother read to him frequently. Don Quixote was one of his favorites but it was Washington Irving’s Sketch Book that influenced him the most. Sent to school at just three years old, Longfellow graduated from Bowdoin College at 19.
Upon graduation he was offered a job as professor of modern languages, a program that the college was just putting together. He accepted the position with the stipulation that he would be given a period of time to travel and study in Europe. It was on this journey that he was able to retain many ideas for his future writings.
Longfellow walked through the countries so that he could stop at inns and cottages and talk to people. He met peasants, farmers and traders. He traveled to Spain, Italy, France, Germany, and England. Returning to America in 1829, he started his career as a college professor. He had to write his own texts because there were none at that time.
In 1831, Longfellow married his first wife, Mary Storer Potter. In 1834, he was offered a professorship at Harvard. Once again, he set out for Europe to prepare himself to teach. His wife accompanied him on this trip and died in Rotterdam. Arriving at Cambridge alone, he took a room at historic Craige House. Eventually, the house was purchased by Nathan Appleton. Seven years after Longfellow came to Cambridge he married Mr.
How to Cite this Page
"Henry Wadsworth Longfellow." 123HelpMe.com. 13 Oct 2019
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Teacher, Lover, Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is not dead. Certainly, he comes alive in every one of his pieces. Longfellow was never just an average person. He appreciated the arts ever since a young age and continued to attract towards them. He definitely led most other writers in the Romanticism Era. His pieces were considered the best of that time. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, born in 1807, is one of the most renowned authors of the Romanticism Era, with one of his most famous works being “A Psalm of Life” which is still treasured by the American society.... [tags: lover, poetry]
1257 words (3.6 pages)
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was the most popular American Poet in the 19th Century and the best at writing books and famous for one of his poems that is named after him. Henry Longfellow was the best poet in the 19th Century for writing some of the best poems and books that was heard in almost every literate house in the United States. Henry wrote “Paul Revere’s Ride” that became a national favorite. When Henry was little and in school he attended a private school called Portland Academy. Henry graduated from Bowdin College and was offered a professorship at a college in Europe.... [tags: poet, american, popular]
603 words (1.7 pages)
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) in Longfellow House said, “Life is real. Life is earnest. And the grave is not its goal; Dust thou art to dust returnest, was not spoken of the soil. Not enjoyment, and not to sorrow, Is our destined end or way; But to act, that each tomorrow find us farther than today.” ( Longfellow House Washington Headquarters 1) This means that life is something special to look forward to, death is not what we live for. We should live for tomorrow for the better. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was an important figure in American History because he wrote poetry that influenced and also inspired many people in different ways during the 1900’s till today.... [tags: poetry, loss, translations]
774 words (2.2 pages)
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is not dead. Certainly, he comes alive in every one of his pieces. Longfellow was never just an average person. He appreciated the arts ever since a young age and continued to attract towards them. He definitely led most other writers in the Romanticism Era. His pieces were considered the best of that time. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, born in 1807, is one of the most renowned authors of the Romanticism Era, with one of his most famous works being “A Psalm of Life” which is still treasured by the American society.... [tags: biographical summary]
1255 words (3.6 pages)
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is one of the most-loved and well-known American poets in the world. His usually steady rhyme scheme and fluent melody appealed to his readers, fueling his popularity. Longfellow often wrote easy-to-understand poems with many different themes that appealed to his large audience and connected with them. Most of his poems had happy, cheerful themes, but in the latter stages of his life, his poems became darker and gloomier. The dark, death-filled, warlike moods in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poems “A Psalm of Life” and “The Arsenal at Springfield” indicate the personal tragedies he went through in his life, such as the losses of multiple family members.... [tags: biography, psalm of life, arsenal at springfield]
976 words (2.8 pages)
- ... On August 27, 1829, he later offered to work at Bowdoin College for 600 dollar, but he refused it for the reason of low pay. Finally, he accepted the professorship with the 1200 dollar. At Bowdoin College, he improved his German skill, and consistently translated books. Quite different from his expectation, atmosphere made Wadsworth to recognize his roughness in his teaching. This influenced next year publishing textbook for students. In his words, however, his boringness at university was revealed.... [tags: biography, children, family, career]
895 words (2.6 pages)
- Born on February 27, 1807, in Portland, Maine, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was raised in a Puritan family with three brothers and four sisters. While growing up he kept a good relationship with his family members. Longfellow spent many years in foreign countries to further his horizons. Longfellow’s solitary life style would not be expected from his extreme success in poetry (Williams, p.26). Longfellow’s boyhood home was built by his grandfather, Peleg Wadsworth, in 1784-86, and was the first brick house in Portland.... [tags: essays research papers fc]
787 words (2.2 pages)
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow A Fellow’s Long Worth How does one describe a poet when he has already described himself with his own words. Although Henry Wadsworth Longfellow isn’t popular, he is such a poet. As described by Arnold Bennett, Longfellow is "the chief minor poet of the English language." Among a harsh lineup of critics, however, they claimed he fell short of literary. This is quite the contrary. Longfellow attended Bowdoin college, near Portland, Maine where he was born and raised. The college offered him the newly formed position as chair of modern languages.... [tags: Poet Persuasive Argumentative Poetry Essays]
935 words (2.7 pages)
- “Look not mournfully into the past. It comes not back again. Wisely improve the present. It is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future, without fear, and with a manly heart.” This is a saying Longfellow read in Germany where his wife died. The words gave him hope for the future. It inspired him to want to write a series of psalms. The first one, “A Psalm of Life” written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, is an uplifting poem that compels us to feel hope for the future. After reading it the first time it had a powerful effect on me.... [tags: essays research papers]
707 words (2 pages)
- Henry Ford, the automobile magnate, once stated that the "world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward” (Daily Quotations Network). Man has always struggled with uncontrollable aspects of his environment, but his ability to overcome these seemingly indomitable obstacles has earned recognition from numerous classical writers and poets, including Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. “One of the real American Poets of yesterday” (Montiero, Preface), Longfellow elaborates on man’s perpetual struggle with life and nature in his poetry.... [tags: essays research papers fc]
1670 words (4.8 pages)
Longfellow had five children, two boys and three girls. He described them in 'The Children's Hour as "grave Alice and laughing Allegra and Edith with golden hair." In 1847 Evangeline became the first successful long poem written in the United States. In 1854, he left Harvard to concentrate on his writing. He felt that being a teacher was a hindrance to his own writing. It was during that same year that he wrote The Song of Hiawatha. In 1861, Longfellow’s wife died of burns she received while trying to seal packages of her children’s hair with wax and matches. Once again, at a major turning point in his life, Longfellow went to Europe where he spent his time translating Dante into English.
Longfellow was highly regarded by his peers and the children of Cambridge loved him. When it became necessary to remove "the spreading chestnut tree" of Brattle Street, which Longfellow had written about in his 'Village Blacksmith', the children of Cambridge donated money to build a chair out of the tree and gave it to Longfellow. He died on March 24, 1882. There is a marble image of him, in the poet’s corner, in Westminster Abbey. He is the first American to be honored this way.
"Of all the suns of the New England morning," says Van Wyck Brooks, "he was the largest in his golden sweetness." Considered to be the first professional American poet, Longfellow is loved by many for his familiar themes, easily grasped ideas, and clear simple melodious language.
It is, perhaps, Longfellow’s shorter poems that showcase this talent the most. Evangeline and Songs of Hiawatha are written in Greek and Finnish meter and lack the flow and beauty and grace of poems like the building of the Ship. The language in this poem is deceptively simple. The ship rich with symbolism can be a metaphor for the Union and its rocky ride, the bride opening her arms to her husband, or, simply a ship blindly trusting its fortune to the waters for the first time. The poem contains layered meanings and depth, but Longfellow conveys those meanings in language that is easily recognizable. There is comfort in that easy recognition, in the familiar, the knowing. The Building of the Ship translates into the language of the common person; a drink mixed with beauty, meaning, and simplicity that soothes as it is swallowed.
In the similarly titled poem, The Builders the language is much the same: beautiful, melodious, and easily grasped. The theme of the poem is a familiar one, a collective fate that we self-construct. But the material with which we build, according to Longfellow is time. Yesterday’s block is set, and if we want tomorrow to have a “firm base” we must be careful of our actions today. In this poem, perhaps more than others, Longfellow’s voice conveys an earnestness that leaves the reader the impression that he meant what he wrote, that the common people can believe in his words, and he remembers them further by reminding his readers that every contribution is equally important, “nothing useless is, or low.”
A favorite of Longfellow’s audience, the Day is Done is simply a heartfelt piece that contains not just his words but his emotions as well. It is easy to see him, and ourselves, out for an evening stroll when suddenly, inexplicably, overwhelmed by sadness. A sadness burdened by the cares of the world, that bows our shoulders low and causes us to search for solace. Longfellow reminds us further that such solace is not to be found in great minds, whose words reflect the sorrows of life. We, like him, must seek the comfort of a simpler mind, a carefree, happy soul who sees the day in the blackness of night.
Longfellow’s popularity owes itself to the fact that his poetry does not simply speak to you, but through you. Years come and go, but his works live on because they are easy to read, beautifully written and carry themes that life is unable to alter. And above all, they offer solace and hope.