Presentation on theme: "Henry Wadsworth Longfellow “Music is the universal language of mankind- poetry their universal pastime and delight.”"— Presentation transcript:
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow “Music is the universal language of mankind- poetry their universal pastime and delight.”
1807-1882 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsKJ om0yKnQhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsKJ om0yKnQ His work was published into two dozen languages. Born in Portland, Maine. He attended Bowdoin College, and Nathaniel Hawthorne was one of his classmates. He taught at Bowdoin for five years and then accepted a job at Harvard, teaching there for 18 years.
His Personal Life..... He suffered the death of two wives. IN 1831 he married Mary Porter; while traveling in Europe she suffered a miscarriage and died of the resulting infection. Eight years later he married Frances Appleton. In 1861, Frances was fatally burned in a household accident. Longfellow was badly burned in the attempt to put out the flames.
Longfellow as a poet.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIwqSMhd Xq0https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIwqSMhd Xq0 He published his first collection of poems, Voices of the Night, in 1839. His poems appealed to a general audience, making him one of the most popular poets of his time. Trying to maintain a connection to the past, he found subjects for his poetry in American history. His poems gave readers a romanticized view of America during its infancy and expressed democratic ideals of the young nation.
“Longfellow was and is the most popular poet America has ever produced” (146). He has become a “household name” “The values he endorsed were positive forces in the making of American character” (146). Longfellow’s poems are still popular today.
Perhaps you recognize some of these lines: “Listen my children, and you shall hear Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere…” “Paul Revere’s Ride” I shot an arrow into the air; It fell to earth, I knew not where…” “The Arrow and the Song”
Longfellow’s poetry has been criticized for being overly optimistic and sentimental. Nevertheless, it was his optimism that made him so popular. He was the first American poet to reach a wide audience and create a national interest in poetry.
“A Psalm of Life” He wrote this after the death of his first wife, learning it was possible to find solace and courage in his work to help him overcome his grief. This poem was intended to serve as an inspiration to himself and to others to strive to overcome the tragedies and misfortunes of the past and and to live energetically and productively as possible in the present.
His wife having died in Germany, Longfellow drew on the influence of German literature for this poem.
His poem reflects the following German motto: “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 poem was intended to be a series. He did write several more, but they are not as easily identified. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSXb1v jhmEAhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSXb1v jhmEA
Although “A Psalm of Life” enjoyed popularity and critical acclaim in Longfellow’s time, it has been attacked by many modern critics as being trite and overly sentimental.
“The Cross of Snow” This poem was discovered after his death; he had chosen not to show it to anyoneThis poem was discovered after his death; he had chosen not to show it to anyone Perhaps it was too close to his heart as it mourns the loss of his wife.Perhaps it was too close to his heart as it mourns the loss of his wife. This poem is a sonnet- a fourteen line poem written in iambic pentameter with an intricate pattern of rhyme.This poem is a sonnet- a fourteen line poem written in iambic pentameter with an intricate pattern of rhyme.
“The Ropewalk” Simple poem It opens in a rope factory, but the speaker’s imagination begins to wander as he imagines what the rope might be used for. The sights Longfellow describes would be common to someone who lived in this time. Also, people of this time were increasingly aware of the dehumanizing effect of factory work.
“The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls” What qualities do you associate with the tides? Which do you not associate with it? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyCmps WMbjEhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyCmps WMbjE