Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth


Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth

biographical name

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.—Historical Pictures Service, Chicago

(born Feb. 27, 1807, Portland, Mass., U.S.—died March 24, 1882, Cambridge, Mass.) U.S. poet. Longfellow graduated from Bowdoin College and traveled in Europe before joining the modern-language faculties of Bowdoin (1829–35) and Harvard (1836–54). His Voices of the Night (1839), containing “The Psalm of Life” and “The Light of the Stars,” first won him popularity. Ballads and Other Poems (1841), including “The Wreck of the Hesperus” and “The Village Blacksmith,” swept the nation, as did his long poem Evangeline (1847). With Hiawatha (1855), The Courtship of Miles Standish (1858), and Tales of a Wayside Inn (1863), including “Paul Revere's Ride,” he became the best-loved American poet of the 19th century. He later translated Dante's Divine Comedy (1867) and published his intended masterpiece, Christus, a trilogy on Christianity (1872). The hallmarks of his verse are gentleness, simplicity, and an idealized vision of the world.

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