Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Influences

Decent Essays
Andrew Lewis
Mrs. Youngblood
English 10
11 February, 2016
Final Paper
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was a famous American poet who was born on February 27, 1807 in Portland, Maine. He lived to be seventy five years old, and was best known for poems such as “The Courtship of Miles Standish”, “Paul Revere’s Ride”, and “The Song of Hiawatha”. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s writings were influenced because of his past experiences, and his writings influenced other writers and the thoughts of his readers.
Longfellow had many interesting past experiences that led to the way he wrote. He grew up in a wealthy family. Longfellow’s father was a successful lawyer and a politician. Henry’s mother loved reading books and she influenced his love for writing.
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When he married Frances Appleton, her father gave them a house in Boston as a gift for their wedding which was called the Craigie House. George Washington used to live in this home. “Their home became a meeting place for students as well as literary and philosophical figures such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Julia Ward Howe, and Charles Sumner.” (Oakes 2). Another poet named Nathaniel Hawthorne was Longfellow’s classmate in college (Hacht and Kelly 185). While living at the Craigie House, Longfellow published Voices of the Night which was a collection of poems that he…show more content…
“Longfellow wrote about themes that appeal to all kinds of people; his poems are easily understood. Above all, there is joyousness in them, a spirit of optimism and faith in the goodness of life; his writing evokes immediate responses in the emotions of his readers” (Longfellow 1). Also, he travelled a lot to other countries and studied their language and culture which he would describe in his writings to grab the reader’s attention. (Hacht and Kelly 178). In 1836, Longfellow published a group of poems, and he called them Voices of the Night. It contained the poems: “Hymn to the Night,” “The Psalm of Life,” and “The Light of the Stars, and achieved immediate popularity from it. At the time of Longfellow's death, people referred to him as a “conspicuous force in nature” (Hacht and Kelly 178). Through his writings, Longfellow had made readers aware of the cultural differences of the world. In 1855, he wrote Song of Hiawatha which was an “epic poem about the relationship between a white man and a Native American.” (Longfellow 1)
While living in Germany, Longfellow was greatly influenced by German Romanticism. The age of romanticism was “a time when American literature began to separate from England and established its own voice and identity” (Hacht and Kelly 185). The age of romanticism came with many of the most influential writers and poets of our time, and Longfellow
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