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Thank you my friend SGT (Join to see) for making us aware that on March 24, 1882 American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow died at the age of 75.

A Conversation with Nicholas Basbanes on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Nicholas Basbanes, critically acclaimed author of Cross of Snow, spoke in a Bowdoin zoom recently. This new biography of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is an exploration of the life, times, work and soul of a man who helped to shape the literature of a new nation, and became in the process the most celebrated public figure of his generation. The book was researched in part at the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives at Bowdoin’s Hawthorne-Longfellow Library.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XD0KUJ9EF_o


Images
1. 1835 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
2. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow miniature, ca. 1815
3. Mary Storer Potter became Longfellow's first wife in 1831 and she died four years later. After a 7-year courtship Longfellow married Francis Appleton in 1843
4. A single conversation across the table with a wise man is better than ten years mere study of books

Background from {[https://www.hwlongfellow.org/life_overview.shtml]}
Longfellow: A Rediscovered Life
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was a commanding figure in the cultural life of nineteenth-century America. Born in Portland, Maine in 1807, he became a national literary figure by the 1850s, and a world-famous personality by the time of his death in 1882. He was a traveler, a linguist, and a romantic who identified with the great traditions of European literature and thought. At the same time, he was rooted in American life and history, which charged his imagination with untried themes and made him ambitious for success.
The following four pages trace the major developments of Longfellow's life from his youth in Portland where he first demonstrated his literary talents, through his years studying languages in Europe and teaching at Bowdoin College, to his move to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he taught at Harvard, married Fanny Appleton, became a father, and wrote many of his most enduring poems; and finally into his elder years as both a celebrity poet and a grieving widower.
The information on the following pages was drawn largely from Longfellow: A Rediscovered Life by Charles Calhoun and from the essay by Richard D'Abate, "Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: A Literary Man" in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and His Portland Home. For more information on these and other sources, please see the bibliography.
Henry's Childhood in Portland

1807 to 1821
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born on February 27, 1807 in Portland, to Stephen and Zilpah Longfellow. At the time, the Longfellows were staying with Stephen's sister in a three-story, Federal style house on the corner of Fore and Hancock Streets while her husband, Captain Samuel Stephenson, was at sea. Several months later they moved into Zilpah's father's house on Congress Street. Longfellow spent his childhood there, and returned to the Congress Street home throughout his life.
Henry was the second child in what was soon to be a family of eight children. The children remembered the order of their births with a rhyme:
Stephen and Henry
Elizabeth and Anne
Alex and Mary
Ellen and Sam.

All who knew him found Henry to have a "lively imagination" as well as a thirst for learning. At three he was already well on his way to learning the alphabet. When he was five, his parents sent him to the Portland Academy, a private institution where his older brother, Stephen, was also enrolled. As was the custom for the time, the two brothers focused most of their studies on languages and literature. Always a writer at heart, when Henry wasn't in school he and his childhood friend, William Browne, planned elaborate writing projects.

Life was not all schoolwork though. His brother Samuel wrote, "In truth he was a very lively and merry boy, though of refined and quiet tastes. He did not like the 'rough and tumble' to which some of his schoolmates were given. But he joined in the ball games, kite-flying, swimming in summer; snowballing, coasting, and skating in winter." He also enjoyed visiting his paternal grandparents at their farm in Gorham, and his maternal grandparents at their farm in Hiram.

Longfellow was very young when the War of 1812 devastated Portland's economy, but the war affected him in ways both immediate and long lasting. In 1814 he wrote to his father, who was in the state Legislature in Boston, asking for a Bible for his sister and a drum for himself. Stephen Longfellow found his son "a very pretty drum, with an eagle painted on it" that cost two dollars. However, he was not able to ship it, as "They do not let any vessels go from Boston to Portland now." Many years later, in his poem "My Lost Youth" (1858), Longfellow recalls a battle that took place off the coast of Maine in 1813 between the British ship Boxer and the American Enterprise. Although the Americans were the victors, the young captains of both ships died and were buried in Portland's Eastern Cemetery, just up the street from Longfellow's house.

At 13 Longfellow published his first poem in the "Portland Gazette," signing it simply "HENRY." The poem, "The Battle of Lovell's Pond," was a tale of battle between colonists and Indians; it appeared on the front page of the "Gazette." There was no praise forthcoming, for no one in the family (except his sister Anne with whom he had shared his secret) realized that their Henry had written the poem. Later that evening while at a friend's house, he overheard the father say to another friend how terrible the poem was. Young Henry was devastated but it did not put a stop to his literary aspirations.

Leaving Portland: Longfellow Goes to Bowdoin & Europe
1822 to 1835

In 1822 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and his older brother moved to Brunswick, Maine to start their sophomore year at Bowdoin College. They both graduated in 1825, in a class that included the writer Nathaniel Hawthorne.

During his time at Bowdoin, Henry's passion for writing grew. Stephen Longfellow, concerned about his son's future, argued that Henry should take up the law. Henry was willing to acquiesce but he wrote: "I most eagerly aspire after future eminence in literature, my whole soul burns most ardently after it…if I can ever rise in the world, it must be by the exercise of my talents in the wide field of literature." Stephen, a trustee of Bowdoin, was not deaf to his son's enthusiasm and may have been instrumental in securing for him a professorship at the college in modern European languages — then a relatively new academic field. To prepare, Longfellow traveled and studied abroad.
His trip began in 1826 and lasted three years. It was the first of a number in his lifetime that would take him throughout Europe, lead to the acquisition or mastery of seven languages, and introduce him to both classical literatures and the living authors of many countries. From this first trip also came his first youthful book and some indication of his literary temperament. It was a meditative travelogue called Outre Mer: A Pilgrimage Beyond the Sea (1835).

In Outre Mer Longfellow filters his experience through the work of other writers - in this case Washington Irving's travel sketches and Lord Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage. Edgar Allan Poe later accused Longfellow of plagiarizing, but it is clear that Longfellow's use of literary models came from a deep sense of his participation in a universal fellowship of art: to borrow and imitate was to enrich and amplify his own vision. He was, we might say, a completely literary man: imaginatively engaged with works of literary genius; generous to other writers, whom he translated and published regularly; and in love with the act of writing and the power of language. "Study of languages…" he wrote to his family on that first trip to Europe, "is like being born again."

Longfellow began teaching French, Spanish, and Italian at Bowdoin in 1829. He soon married Mary Potter of Portland, began to write critical essays, and published six foreign language textbooks. It was enough to earn him the Smith Professorship of Modern Languages at Harvard College, which he accepted in 1834, beginning a long association with the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Longfellow, however, always retained his ties to family and home in Maine.

To improve his language skills before taking on the new position at Harvard, he and his wife and two friends left for Europe in 1835. It was a crucial turning point. On this trip life's lessons fell hard on Longfellow. His young wife, Mary, died of complications following a miscarriage. After sending her body back to Cambridge for later burial, he continued his journey in a near suicidal depression, hoping that travel might dispel his cares. Solace did eventually come, but with it a new form of anguish. A chance meeting in the Swiss Alps brought Longfellow together with the wealthy Appleton family of Boston. It was then he met and fell in love with their daughter, the stylish and beautiful Frances (Fanny). Fanny Appleton was the great love of Longfellow's life, but she did not return that love for seven years.

Henry's Life in Cambridge
1836 to 1854
Bereaved and spurned, Longfellow returned to Cambridge in December 1836 to take up his teaching post. He was almost thirty years of age. The true beginning of Longfellow's creative life dates from this moment, perhaps because he had matured, or perhaps because he had glimpsed the real depths of human experience. In the next fifteen years he wrote all the works on which his extraordinary and nearly instantaneous fame came to rest. Hyperion, an autobiographical novel (featuring a thinly veiled account of Longfellow's love for and rejection by Fanny Appleton), appeared in 1839. The poetry collections Voices in the Night (1839) and Ballads and Poems (1841) were received enthusiastically by an international audience.

Meanwhile, the successful poet also worked full time at Harvard University, lectured, and directed the Modern Languages department. The department was meant to consist of four men teaching in their native languages: Spanish, French, Italian, and German. When a position was vacant, Henry had to fill in. Frustrated with his situation, Longfellow wrote to his father in September of 1839, "But my work here grows quite intolerable; and unless they make some change, I will leave them, with or without anything to do. I will not consent to have my life crushed out of me so. I had rather live a while on bread and water." Longfellow managed to tolerate the situation for another 15 years.

His popularity as a poet continued to grow. The great American novelist, Nathaniel Hawthorne, who had been a Bowdoin classmate of Longfellow and who became his life-long friend, wrote: "I read your poems over and over . . . nothing equal to some of them was ever written in this world." There followed Poems on Slavery (1842), the anthology The Poets and Poetry of Europe (1845), Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie (1847), the novel Kavanagh (1849), The Song of Hiawatha (1855), The Courtship of Miles Standish (1858), and Tales of a Wayside Inn (1863). Clever marketing, often initiated by the poet himself, expanded the audience for all these works until Longfellow had become one of the best selling and most widely read authors in the world.

His early fame and persistent wooing finally led Fanny to relent, and they were married in 1843. Craigie House, the Cambridge residence most closely associated with the mature Longfellow, was a wedding gift from Fanny's father. Henry and Fanny had six children: Charles, Ernest, Fanny, Alice, Edith, and Anne Allegra. The infant Fanny was the only one who did not survive to adulthood: she took ill when she was sixteen months old and died a few days later. The Longfellows raised their children at Craigie House and formed the warm family circle that, through its reflection in many poems, became a kind of national symbol for domestic love, the innocence of childhood, and the pleasure of material comfort.

It was at Craigie House, too, that Longfellow's famous circle of friends and acquaintances came - Emerson, Hawthorne, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Charles Sumner, Charles Eliot Norton, James Russell Lowell - as well as thousands of unknown visitors, for whom the house was a kind of shrine.
By 1854 Longfellow was able to resign his teaching post at Harvard; he had become, at age forty-seven, one of America's first self-sustaining authors. For the next seven years, Henry was able to pour his energies into his writing, unimpeded by teaching duties and supported by the love of his family.

Longfellow's Elder Years
1855-1882
The last and somewhat diminished stage of Longfellow's career began in 1861 with the tragic death of his wife Fanny. In an accident on July 9, 1861 at the Longfellow's Cambridge home, Fanny's gauzy clothing caught fire and she was enveloped in flames. She died the next day. Exactly how the accident occurred is unclear; Fanny may have inadvertently ignited her dress with a candle she was using to melt sealing wax, or she may have stepped on a self-lighting match. In his futile efforts to put the fire out, Longfellow burned his hands and face. He may have worn the beard he subsequently grew that gave him the sage, avuncular look reproduced in so many later paintings and photographs, such as the famous Julia Margaret Cameron image, to hide his facial scars. A month after Fanny's death, on August 18th, 1861, Longfellow gave voice to his despair in a letter to his late wife's sister, Mary Appleton Mackintosh. He wrote, "How I am alive after what my eyes have seen, I know not. I am at least patient, if not resigned; and thank God hourly - as I have from the beginning - for the beautiful life we led together, and that I loved her more and more to the end." It was 18 years before he wrote "The Cross of Snow," his only poem that deals directly with his grief.

The Civil War began in the same year of Fanny's death, and in 1863, Longfellow's son Charley ran off to join the fighting. Charley knew his father disapproved, but went anyway. He wrote a letter to his father saying, "I have tried to resist the temptation of going without your leave but cannot any longer." Twice during the war Henry was called to Washington to care for his son — once because of illness and once due to injury. Charley survived and spent much of his adult life traveling the world. Longfellow's three daughters also appeared on the field of battle: shortly after the fighting ended at Gettysburg in early July 1863, a copy of a painting of Edith, Alice, and Anne Allegra was found. The identity of its owner has never been discovered.

After Fanny's death, Longfellow slowed considerably in writing original poems. The greatest part of his creative energy went instead into the translation of Dante's Divine Comedy, one of the great monuments of world literature, as well as a prolonged meditation on the spiritual power of love to overcome death. It was published in 1867.

Though he continued to write fine verse, what were to be Longfellow's most famous works were done. His fame itself, however, continued to grow. Honors of every kind were bestowed on him in Europe and America; he was received by heads of state, including Queen Victoria, who read and appreciated his work; he became acquainted with Tennyson, Ruskin, Gladstone, Whitman, and even Oscar Wilde.
Longfellow's seventieth birthday, in 1877, became a national celebration. When he turned 72, he received a very special gift: a chair that bore a brass plate on the seat with an inscription: To the author of "The Village Blacksmith," This chair made from the wood of the spreading chestnut tree is presented as an expression of grateful regard and veneration by the children of Cambridge, who with their friends join in the best wishes and congratulations on this anniversary.
The nation mourned his death three years later.

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LTC Stephen F.
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The Day Is Done - Henry W. Longfellow (Powerful Life Poetry)
The first video in our new Powerful Life Poetry series: The Day is Done by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Read by John Mydrim Ballantyne Davies.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMeb2A4WkYM

Images:
1. Painting of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ca. 1842-1846. by Charles Loring Elliott Oil on canvas, Brooklyn Museum
2. Fanny Longfellow reading to Charley and Erny, c. 1849 Daguerrotype [Charles, Ernest,]
3. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 'Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.'
4. The Longfellow daughters, 1859 Fanny, Alice, Edith.

Background from {[https://www.nps.gov/long/learn/historyculture/henry-wadsworth-longfellow.htm]}
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 1820s, 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."
Over and above his poetry's success and influence, Longfellow became himself a living icon who filled a central niche on the American scene. Americans read his poetry by firesides, in schools, at public occasions; they heard musical renditions sung in parlors and concert-halls; their 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 in 1882, a Longfellow revival of kinds may now be under way as it becomes possible to see afresh his considerable poetic achievements and historical significance.

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. 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: Evangeline, Hiawatha, the Puritan maiden Priscilla, the midnight-riding Paul Revere. 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: accessible ideas and language, pleasing stories and rhyme, familiar feelings and form.
In a well-known lyric from 1844, "The Day Is Done," Longfellow voiced what may be thought of as his poetic intentions; in this poem about poetry – a favorite subject of his – he celebrates poems that "have power to quiet/The restless pulse of care,/And come like the benediction/That follows after prayer." In these direct, clear, and mellifluous lines, one can see how Longfellow is content to speak simply and softly. Indeed, he adopted as a personal motto a Latin phrase, Non clamor sed amor, borrowed from an anonymous poem he himself translated: "Not loudness but love." The great American author Nathaniel Hawthorne, a friend and college classmate of Longfellow's, praised just this understated quality: "No one but you would have dared to write so quiet a book," he wrote in an 1850 letter to Longfellow. 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. 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.

Life and Fame
Longfellow's benign poetic temperament owes much to his full and fortunate life. Born in Portland in 1807, when 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!) appointed him to a provisional professorship, sending him off to Europe for three years of preparatory study.
He stayed for four, returning to Maine to start his teaching career in 1829. His next years were productive ones, and his ambition, hard work, and social connections paid off when in 1835, at 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: the Smith Professorship of Modern Languages at Harvard. 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. Installed at last in Cambridge in the fall of 1836, the major, most productive and important phase of his life was about to begin.
This phase was marked by his return, after an almost ten year interruption, to writing poetry. His breakthrough poem, "A Psalm of Life," published in the Knickerbocker magazine out of New York and reprinted in newspapers across the country, stirred a generation of readers with its heady exhortations:
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than today.

With the publication in 1839 of his first collection of poems, Voices of the Night, and that same year of his novel Hyperion, Longfellow established himself as one of America's leading authors.
Still in his early thirties, a well-dressed, cosmopolitan figure in small-town Cambridge, Longfellow formed close friendships with other young men of patrician backgrounds and promising futures, and turned his attention to the daughter of a prosperous Boston industrialist, Fanny Appleton, whom he had met for the first time in Switzerland in the summer of 1836. Unusually determined as a suitor, Longfellow waited seven long years before she relented, and the two were married in 1843.
As a wedding present her father, Nathan Appleton, bought the couple the historic Craigie House on Brattle Street, a short walk from Harvard Square (Longfellow had been renting rooms there since 1837, and the house came on the market at a fortuitous moment). Henry and Fanny raised five children in Craigie House, and lived among friends and family in great comfort, happiness, and privilege. It is revealing of the Longfellows' elite social position, for instance, that in 1847 Fanny became the first woman in America to be given anesthesia during childbirth. Moderate in politics, liberal in religion, Professor Longfellow and his wife surrounded themselves with art, music, and books. They had dinner parties, kept up wide-ranging correspondences, and spent their summers by the shore in Nahant.

Meanwhile, Longfellow's literary career prospered and his fame spread. In this matter of his career, Longfellow must never be confused for a private citizen, a solitary scrivener, alone in his attic pouring forth his soul. Rather, throughout his writing life Longfellow had behind him the powerful New England establishment, of which as a Harvard professor and world-famous author, he became a leading representative. He counted among his friends the influential figures of the day in culture, politics, and society, and he in turn could be counted on to voice irreproachably respectable ideals grounded in moral decency and concern for the public good. As an avatar of the emerging Boston culture industry, Longfellow was not just a moral emblem but a profitable venture: his books sold extraordinarily well. He wrote prolifically, and his publishers – first Ticknor and Fields, later Houghton Mifflin – were constantly bringing out new volumes and new editions of his collected poems, at all different price points for different segments of the expanding book trade.
Longfellow was frequently profiled in newspapers and magazines, and the release of poems like The Song of Hiawatha in 1854 and The Courtship of Miles Standish in 1858 were "events" shrewdly orchestrated to maximize sales. Even in his own lifetime, therefore, Longfellow was larger than life, an institution associated with an array of ideological, social, and commercial interests. Longfellow was often happiest when paying least attention to such matters, but his public aura forms a scrim against which his private self must be seen.
Longfellow's domestic happiness was shattered in 1861, when his wife Fanny died of burns after fire engulfed her from a candle accidentally knocked over as she was melting wax to seal locks of her children's hair. A widower once again, never to remarry, Longfellow continued to raise the children – the oldest was fourteen, the youngest five at the time of the tragedy – and, perhaps to drown his grief, continued to write: lyric poems, the narrative poems collected in Tales of a Wayside Inn, verse dramas, and his landmark three-volume translation of Dante's Divine Comedy. His impressive output never slowing down, in the last decade of his life Longfellow published five new collections of poems, as well as assorted other writings. By the time he died, aged 75, in March 1882, at his home in Cambridge, he had become a national elder, a white-bearded eminence whose Jove-like image was widely circulated in lithographs and photographs.
Sarah Orne Jewett captured something of the importance of Longfellow in the national imagination when she wrote in eulogy, "It is a grander thing than we can wholly grasp, that life of his, a wonderful life . . . . This world could hardly ask any more from him: he has done so much for it, and the news of his death takes away from most people nothing of his life. His work stands like a great cathedral in which the world may worship and be taught to pray, long after its tired architect goes home to rest."

Home and Home Life
Jewett could refer so knowingly to "[t]hat life of his, a wonderful life" because its basic outlines were a point of public fascination, an indispensable part of the Longfellow legend. The patrician ancestry, the European travels, the early loss of his first wife, the Harvard professorship, the long courtship of Fanny Appleton, the five children, the historic old house in which they peaceably lived, the steadily mounting fame – these items hardly bore repeating in the popular press, so great was Longfellow's celebrity, and yet were repeated nonetheless. Craigie House (named for a former owner, Andrew Craigie, apothecary general under George Washington during the American Revolution) became a focal point of Longfellow's fame, which rested to some large extent on his life and even his lifestyle.
This was a period when private life and the private home took on new public importance, and Longfellow's prestige and authority as a kind of national father figure could seem all the greater by dint of his owning such a place.
The house itself, an imposing late-Georgian mansion painted a proper yellow with white trim and black shutters, bespoke affluence, dignity, and tradition. Early in the Revolutionary War it had served as Washington's military headquarters, and hence came down to Longfellow as a patriotic treasure; images of it were frequently reproduced in editions of Longfellow's works, as well as in pictorial magazines, postcards, advertisements, and such other popular media of the times as stereopticon cards. No other author's home, with the possible exception of Washington Irving's Sunnyside, could rival Craigie House in fame. With the emergence of the Colonial Revival movement in American architecture, many replica Craigie Houses appeared around the country— the first built in 1883 in Maine, the second in 1887 outside Chicago.
Craigie House appeared in Longfellow's poetry too, where it comes across as a place of familial contentment. In poems like "To a Child" and "Children," Longfellow seemed to invite readers into his home, opening the door (just a crack!) onto his family life. Such glimpses gave readers the illusion that they knew the illustrious Professor Longfellow in his intimate domestic moments. In "The Children's Hour," for instance, Longfellow imagines his well-behaved daughters, "Grave Alice, and laughing Allegra, / And Edith with golden hair," granted leave to come into his famous study to play with him at the end of his work day. The father's affection is palpable.
Longfellow earned the love and respect, the tenderness and reverence of his readers, then, not just as a poet but as a model husband and father, a father figure, with a privileged home life that could be glimpsed, at times, in his writing. The success of this self-representation may be judged from an 1880 letter written by the novelist Henry James to his mother; James, in London, wrote of a British lord who one day over lunch came out with the thought that "his ideal of the happy life was that of Cambridge, Massachusetts, 'living like Longfellow.'"

Reputation and Popularity
Longfellow's reputation grew so large that the reputation itself became a legend, subject to all the falsehoods of the legendary. Contrary to the popular wisdom that Longfellow was almost unanimously adored in the nineteenth-century, with a few grumpy exceptions like Edgar Allan Poe and Margaret Fuller, the truth is that he was always controversial, always contested. Reviewers and editors in the newspapers and magazines took sides, often not merely on literary but on ideological grounds.
The questions that concerned the critics—was Longfellow original or derivative, was he "American" enough or too European, was he "in touch" or was he too cloistered, were his metrical choices fitting? – masked deeper rifts in the country over regional influence, the ascendancy of bourgeois manners, the moral responsibilities of art and artists, and the distribution of cultural power. At the beginning of his career, for instance, Longfellow signified to many readers a welcome relaxation of the famously severe New England outlook, while for others he introduced an unwelcome note of European cosmopolitanism. By his career's end, in Victorian America, he seemed to many a stable, authoritative bulwark against accelerating change, while for others he was a staid emblem of an outmoded era.
While the critics were battling it out, the public took Longfellow into their hearts. To his middleclass readers Longfellow meant not only social prestige, intellectual distinction, and moral authority, but the three together filtered through a noble but at the same time somehow approachable life, and contributing to a radiant personal aura inseparable from his poems. When the best-selling anthologist Thomas Bulfinch, for instance, wrote to Longfellow in 1855 seeking permission to dedicate his Age of Fable to him "as a sort of guarantee to the public that nothing worthless or mischievous is offered to them," he was paying homage to the way Longfellow had become not just an author but an icon, embodying impeccable honor and uprightness.

Similarly, the writer Mary Austin, growing up on the prairies of Illinois, recalled later that her parents treasured their volume of Longfellow's poetry for "the notion of mannerliness, of the gesture they missed and meant on behalf of their children, to resume"; for these transplanted New Englanders who had settled in the West, Longfellow represented a sought-after ideal of civility and civilization. Still, there were those who interpreted Longfellow more darkly: the South, especially in the years before the Civil War, tended to see in Longfellow an example of New England snobbery and hypocrisy. But even so, a "Longfellow Debating Society" was established in Clarksville, Tennessee in 1861, and a "Longfellow Dramatic Association" was founded in Baltimore in 1865.
Other such Longfellow-inspired literary organizations proliferated in the decades following the Civil War, in such far-flung places as Cumberland County, Kentucky; Wheeling, West Virginia; and San Francisco. Despite (or perhaps as a result of) such expressions of Longfellow's sanctioning authority, he increasingly seemed a symbol of an oppressive cultural conservatism. The American poet Sidney Lanier left upon his death in 1885 numerous fragments and sketches for poems, one of which reads in its entirety, "Do you think the 19th century is past? It is but two years since Boston burnt me for witchcraft. I wrote a poem which was not orthodox: that is, not like Mr. Longfellow's."
The rise of Modernist poets and theorists like T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound in the first decades of the twentieth century finally did Longfellow in. The country had changed and so had its literary aesthetics, and Longfellow now seemed naive, sentimental, and out of touch with the hard facts of life. Opening a new chapter in his meta-life as a symbol, in the twentieth century Longfellow came to seem, in fact, not just an author whose star had waned but the very embodiment of facile, flaccid nineteenth-century poetizing; his poetry was a disaster, in this view, and his former popularity an embarrassment. Within the space of a couple decades, that is, Longfellow had gone from one of the most lauded poets who ever lived to one of the most disparaged. Suddenly now he seemed to stand for everything wrong with nineteenth-century American genteel poetry and "respectable" culture. Such a reversal in reputation, in retrospect, may be seen as yet further evidence of Longfellow's immense purity and power as a symbol, with a constantly evolving value and meaning, as if Longfellow himself and his poetry were peculiarly open to widely divergent cultural interpretation and reinterpretation.
After decades of relative neglect, a new reinterpretation of Longfellow is currently taking place among poets, critics, and the general public. It seems especially noteworthy that among Longfellow's recent defenders are poets like Howard Nemerov, Dana Gioia, John Hollander, and J.D. McClatchey. McClatchey's Library of America edition of Longfellow, published in 2000, suggests that Longfellow has the power to attract a new generation of readers. Literary critics, too, have been taking a new look at Longfellow in his social and historical context, finding ways to rescue his poetry from the critical oblivion in which it languished for much of the twentieth century. Longfellow is now the subject of scholarly articles, biographies, and even historical novels, and such activity – if history is any guide – betokens the arrival of yet another phase in Longfellow's always contested fame."

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The Life of Henry Wadsworth and Fanny Appleton Longfellow
The book “Cross of Snow” is the result of more than twelve years of research, including access to never-before-examined letters, diaries, journals, and notes. Author Nicholas Basbanes reveals the life, the times, the work–the soul–of the man who shaped the literature of a new nation.
In this dialogue between Basbanes and Diana Korzenik, learn about the life and work of Henry and his multi-talented second wife, Fanny Appleton Longfellow (1817-1861) at various stages of their lives.
Diana Korzenik is an author, artist, professor emerita (Massachusetts College of Art), and compiler of five research collections housed at libraries and museums nationwide. Her first book, Drawn to Art: A Nineteenth-Century American Dream, won a Boston Globe Literary Award.
Since the Basbanes biography was released in June, reviewers have taken particular note of the modern feminist approach Basbanes has employed to give full biographical attention to Fanny, taking in her work as a brilliant artist, diarist, correspondent, and chronicler of her times.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JV6ugLN2OF0

Images:
1. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1882, the year he died
2. 1c Green Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 1940 U.S. Stamps Sc.# 864
3. Fanny Appleton by G.P.A. Healy, 1834
4. Facsimile of Sketch by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1829


Background from {[http://www.2020site.org/poetry/index.html]}
HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW, whom Griswold describes as the greatest American poet, was born at Portland, Maine, February 27, 1807, and he died at Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 24, 1882. His father was of Puritan stock, and a lawyer by profession. He possessed the necessary wealth to give his children school opportunities. At the age of fourteen young Longfellow was sent to Bowdoin College, where he graduated at eighteen. He was a close student, as shown by the testimony of his classmate, the talented Nathaniel Hawthorne, also by the recollections of Mr. Packard, one of his teachers. These glimpses that we catch of the boy reveal a modest, refined, manly youth, devoted to study, of great personal charm, and gentle manners. It is the boy that the older man suggested. To look back upon him is to trace the broad and clear and beautiful river far up the green meadows to the limpid rill. His poetic taste and faculty were already apparent, and it is related that a version of an ode of Horace which he wrote in his Sophomore year so impressed one of the members of the examining board that when afterward a chair of modern languages was established in the college, he proposed as its incumbent the young Sophomore whose fluent verse he remembered. Before his name was suggested for the position of professor of modern languages at Bowdoin, he had studied law for a short time in his father's office. The position was gladly accepted, for the young poet seemed more at home in letters than in law. That he might be better prepared for his work he studied and traveled in Europe for three and one-half years. For the purpose of becoming acquainted more thoroughly with the manners and literature of other countries, he visited France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Holland, and England. Returning home in 1829 he entered upon his duties at Bowdoin, where he remained for six years. Upon the death of Mr. George Ticknor, in 1835, Longfellow was appointed to the chair of modern languages in that eminent seat of learning. Again sailing for Europe he visited the Scandinavian countries, Germany and Switzerland. On this visit he became acquainted with the literature of northern Europe. Again returning to the United States, he entered upon his duties at Harvard. This position he held for nineteen years when he resigned, and was succeeded by James Russell Lowell. Thus, for twenty-five years, from 1829 to 1854, he was a college professor in addition to his ceaseless literary work. At a very early age Longfellow gave evidences of poetic genius. Numerous stories are told of his childish effusions. From the commencement of his collegiate course it became evident to his teachers and fellow-students that literature would be his profession. While a youth his poems and criticisms, contributed to periodicals, attracted general attention. Hawthorne speaks of him as having scattered some delicate verses to the wind while yet in college. Among those youthful poems we may mention, "An April Day," a finished work that shows all of the author's flowing melody in later years. In 1833 he published a translation of the Spanish verses called "Coplas de Manrique," which he accompanied with an essay upon Spanish poetry. This seems to have been his first studied effort and it showed wonderful grace and skill. The genius of the poet steadily and beautifully developed, flowering according to its nature. The most urbane and sympathetic of men, never aggressive, nor vehement, nor self-asserting, he was yet thoroughly independent, and the individuality of his genius held its tranquil way as surely as the river Charles, whose placid beauty he so often sang, wound through the meadows calm and free. When Longfellow came to Cambridge, the impulse of transcendentalism in New England was deeply affecting scholarship and literature. It was represented by the most original of American thinkers and the typical American scholar, Emerson, and its elevating, purifying, and emancipating influences are memorable in our moral and intellectual history. Longfellow lived in the very heart of the movement. Its leaders were his cherished friends. He too was a scholar and a devoted student of German literature, who had drank deeply also of the romance of German life. Indeed, his first important works stimulated the taste for German studies and the enjoyment of its literature more than any other impulse in this country. But he remained without the charmed transcendental circle, serene and friendly and attractive. There are those whose career was wholly moulded by the intellectual revival of that time. But Longfellow was untouched by it, except as his sympathies were attracted by the vigor and purity of its influence. His tastes, his interests, his activities, his career, would have been the same had that great light never shone. If he had been the ductile, echoing, imitative nature that the more ardent disciples of the faith supposed him to be, he would have been absorbed and swept away by the flood. But he was as untouched by it as Charles Lamb by the wars of Napoleon. From this period poems and essays and romances flowed from his inspired pen in almost endless profusion. In 1835 appeared "Outre Mer," being sketches of travel beyond the Atlantic; in 1839, "Hyperion, a Romance," which instantly became popular. In the same year with "Hyperion," came the "Voices of the Night," a volume of poems which contained the "Coplas de Manrique" and the translations, with a selection from the verses of the "Literary Gazette," which the author playfully reclaims, in a note, from their vagabond and precarious existence in the corners of newspapers--gathering his children from wandering in lanes and alleys, and introducing them decorously to the world. A few later poems were added and these, with the "Hyperion," showed a new and distinctive literary talent. In both of these volumes there is the purity of spirit, the elegance of form, the romantic tone, the airy grace, which were already associated with Longfellow's name. But there are other qualities. The boy of nineteen, the poet of Bowdoin, has become the scholar and traveler. The teeming hours, the ample opportunities of youth have not been neglected or squandered, but, like a golden-banded bee, humming as he sails, the young poet has drained all the flowers of literature of their nectar, and has built for himself a hive of sweetness.
More than this he had proved in his own experience the truth of Irving's tender remark, that an early sorrow is often the truest benediction for the poet. At least two of the poems in "voices," "Psalm of Life," and "Footsteps of Angels," penetrated the common heart at once, and have held it ever since. A young Scotchman saw them reprinted in some paper or magazine, and meeting a literary lady in London, he repeated them to her, and then to a literary assembly at her house; and the presence of a new poet was at once acknowledged. "The Psalm of Life" was the very heart-beat of the American conscience, and the "Footsteps of Angels" was a hymn of the fond yearning of every loving heart. Nothing finer could be written. They illustrate the fact that our inner consciousness breathes the air of immortality just as naturally as our lungs draw in the air of heaven. In 1841 appeared "Ballads, and Other Poems;" in 1842, "Poems on Slavery;" in 1843, "The Spanish Student," a tragedy; in 1845, "Poets and Poetry of Europe;" 1846, "The Belfry of Bruges;" 1847, "Evangeline;" 1849, "Kavanaugh," a prose tale; in the same year, "The Seaside and the Fireside," a series of short poems; 1851, "The Golden Legend," a mediaeval story in irregular rhyme; 1855, "The Song of Hiawatha," an Indian tale; 1858, the "Courtship of Miles Standish;" 1863, "Flower de Luce;" 1867, a translation of Dante; 1872, "The Divine Tragedy," a sacred but not successful drama; in the same year, "Three Books of Songs;" 1874, "Hanging of the Crane;" 1875, "The Masque of Pandora;" and 1878, "Keramos." The above gives an outline of his literary work, though he wrote numerous poems not mentioned, and made some excellent translations. Among his short poems that have gone into every day literature, and are known in every home, may be mentioned "The Building of the Ship," "The Old Clock on the Stairs," "The Bridge," "The Builders," "The Day is Done," "The Ride of Paul Revere," "The Evening Star," "The Snow Flakes," "Excelsior," "Psalm of Life," and "Footsteps of Angels." Where can we find a more popular collection than that given above? Eminently, Longfellow is the poet of the domestic affections. He is the poet of the household, of the fireside, of the universal home feeling. The infinite tenderness and patience, the patios and the beauty of daily life, of familiar emotion, and the common scene,--these are the significance of that verse whose beautiful and simple melody, softly murmuring for more than forty years, made the singer the most widely beloved of living men. In 1868 he visited Europe for the third time. What a contrast between this and former visits! Cambridge University conferred upon him the degree of LL. D., and Oxford that of D. C. L. The Russian Academy of Science elected him a member, and he was also made a member of the Spanish Academy. He was received everywhere with marks of distinction. His fame had reached even the poor classes and the servants of nobility. It was known that he would visit the queen on a certain day, and as he passed along the streets and corridors leading to her reception room, he was surprised to see the number of persons looking from doors and peeping from windows to see him. The queen received him most cordially. She told him the persons he had noticed were her servants, that they had learned to love him, and that the poet who could thus command the affections of the poor and humble, as well as of the rich and great, surely wears a greater than an earthly crown. And why not love him? He is the poet, above all others, who has swept every chord of tenderness, beauty, and pathos; and he has lightened the sorrows and heightened the joys of every home. His poems are apples of gold in pictures of silver. The gentle influence of his poetry is sweetly and unconsciously expressed in one of his own poems: Come read to me some poem, Some simple and heart-felt lay, That shall soothe this restless feeling, And banish the thoughts of day. Not from the grand old masters, Not from the bard sublime, Whose distant footsteps echo Through the corridors of Time. * * * * Such songs have power to quiet The restless pulse of care, And come like the benediction That follows after prayer. Other fields were open for his muse, but with a steady and unerring purpose he held his pen close to the domestic heart. Scotland sings and glows in the verse of Burns, but the affections of the whole world shine in the verse of Longfellow. A genial writer has paid our favorite a deserved compliment. He says that "in no other conspicuous figure in literary history are the man and the poet more indissolubly blended than in Longfellow. The poet was the man and the man was the poet. What he was to the stranger reading in distant lands, by `The long wash of Australasian seas,' that he was to his most intimate friends. His life and his character were perfectly reflected in his books. There is no purity, or grace, or feeling, or spotless charm in his verse which did not belong to the man. There was never an explanation to be offered for him, no allowance was necessary for the eccentricity, or grotesqueness, or willfulness, or humor of genius. Simple, modest, frank, manly, he was the good citizen, the self-respecting gentleman, the symmetrical man." For a long time he lived at Cambridge, Massachusetts, in a house once occupied by General Washington as his headquarters; the highway running by his gate and dividing the smooth grass and modest green terrace about the house from the fields and meadows that sloped gently to the placid Charles, and the low range of distant hills that made the horizon. Through the little gate passed an endless procession of pilgrims of every degree and from every country to pay homage to their American friend. Every morning came the letters of those who could not come in person, and with infinite urbanity and sympathy and patience the master of the house received them all, and his gracious hospitality but deepened the admiration and affection of the guests. His nearer friends sometimes remonstrated at his sweet courtesy to such annoying "devastators of the day." But to an urgent complaint of his endless favor to a flagrant offender, Longfellow only answered, good-humoredly, "If I did not speak kindly to him, there is not a man in the world who would." On the day that he was taken ill, six days only before his death, three school-boys came out from Boston on their Saturday holiday to ask his autograph. The benign lover of children welcomed them heartily, showed them a hundred interesting things in his house, then wrote his name for them and for the last time. Few men had known deeper sorrow--his first wife having died in Holland, in 1835; his second wife having been burned to death in 1861, by her clothes taking fire, accidentally, while she was playing with the children. But no man ever mounted upon his sorrow more surely to higher things. His song and its pure and imperishable melody is the song of the lark in the morning of our literature. "Type of the wise who soar but never roam, True to the kindred points of heaven and home,"
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SGT David A. 'Cowboy' Groth
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Never could get into reading much of his works, I was more into science fiction and mysteries, and of course my westerns brother SGT (Join to see)
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Lt Col John (Jack) Christensen
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I could never get 100% into his works, but going through school in New England he was pretty much shoved down our throats in English classes.
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