Henry Longfellow: Biography and Creativity

Creativity of Henry Longfellow is known to any moreor less educated person. His romantic poetry is a bright page in American literature and culture. We will tell you about the fate of the poet, what influenced his work and what books a writer should read to everyone.

Henry Longfellow

Childhood and origin

The future poet Henry Longfellow was born on February 271807 in Portland, Maine. His family came from Yorkshire. The ancestors of Henry came to the United States in the 17th century and adhered to strict Puritan views. In the small town of Portland the Longfellow family enjoyed great respect. The father of the future writer was a lawyer, a member of Congress and provided his family with good welfare.

Henry, from childhood, lived well and could devoteyour time to your favorite pursuits. He was a very dreamy and impressionable child. When the boy heard how in the port the sailors spoke Spanish, French, Italian, then imagined distant countries and dreamed of travel and adventure. He read a lot, especially was fond of Washington Irving. It is under the influence of this American romanticist Longfellow that he begins to try himself in poetry. At the age of 13 Henry published his first poems in a local city newspaper.


Primary education Henry Longfellow, biographywho in his early years was associated with Portland, received in his hometown. After that he entered the Bowden College of Harvard University, where he studied with the future outstanding American writer, romanticist Nathaniel Hawthorne.

In 1825, Henry graduated from college and receivedoffer to take the post of professor of the chair of new languages. In order to pass the qualification exam, Longfellow goes on a great European trip, which lasted three years. He visited Italy, France, Spain, England, where he studied literature and languages. After that, he was ready to start teaching.

Henry Longfellow Biography

Science and Teaching

In 1829, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, biographywho had already been linked to literature for good, began work at Bowden College. After 6 years he was invited to the position of professor at Harvard University. According to the already established tradition, Longfellow first travels to Europe, where during the year he increases his qualification. Then he starts working at Harvard.

Over the years of teaching, Henry has developed severalvaluable from the scientific point of view of courses in major European literature, he also publishes several translations of works of Spanish literature. Longfellow University will work until 1854, in parallel with teaching he is engaged in literary creation.


The desire for literature Henry Longfellow experienced in theadolescence. His first experiments were poetic, but later he tried himself in prose. In his youth he wrote many poems, but these were only student experiences. In his student years, Henry often sent his poems to magazines and newspapers and even published. In total, at this time he published about 40 small poems. His impressions of the trip to Europe Longfellow laid out in prose, it was a kind of travel diary, called "Pilgrimage for the sea." This work was published in 1835. But still Longfellow was a born poet, therefore from the end of the 1830s he began to write only poems.

Henry Longfellow the song of Hiawatha


The first fame for the poet came afterpublication of the poem "The Psalm of Life", a sample of naive lyrics. Since the late 30-ies, he regularly produces collections of lyrics, which provided a stable lifetime fame of the author. Henry Longfellow, whose poems can be divided into three large groups, went from imitator and romance to a mature author with a vivid civil position.

Part of the poet's works are translations andimitation of European authors. He translated into English the "Divine Comedy" of Dante, and this is a real masterpiece. This group includes a lot of ballads Longfellow on traditional European subjects.

The second group of works by Henry Longfellow is a philosophical lyric with a small hint of didacticism. It includes, for example, the works "Migratory Birds", "Voices of the Night", "Iris" and others.

The third group of texts of the poet is his experiments onthe creation of a national epic, they include the famous "Song of Hiawatha" and "Evangeline." Standing apart are Longfellow's works dedicated to the propaganda of the idea of ​​freedom and the liberation of slaves from slavery. In the 1940s, many US poets joined the abolitionist movement, the movement for the abolition of slavery, but Henry proved himself in this topic much less than many of his colleagues.

In total for his literary career Longfellowhe published 15 poetry collections, as well as several separate poems and poems. Also in his legacy there are many translations and a beautiful anthology of European poetry.

henry wowsworth longfellow biography

"Song of Hiawatha"

And yet for the descendants the main achievement of HenryLongfellow - "Song of Hiawatha." This poem was published in 1855, its poetic size is borrowed from the famous Karelian epos Kalevala. The plot of the work is taken from the legends of the indigenous Indians of America. The poet retells cosmogonic myths of Aborigines, seeks to create a national American epic, like the Scandinavian "Edda." The work is distinguished by the impeccable poetic form and grace of the syllable. Today, "The Song of Hiawatha" is a classic of the US literature.

Henry Longfellow Poems

Personal life

Poet Henry Longfellow, whose biography is connectedwith literature, was successful in his work, but not very happy in his personal life. The first time he married his classmate Fanny in 1831. The couple lived together only 4 years. His wife died during their joint trip to Europe. From this marriage there was 1 child. The second time Henry married in 1843. This marriage was happy, the couple had 5 children. But in 1861, the wife was tragically killed in the fire. This psychological trauma left Henry out of balance for a long time. Last years the poet suffered from rheumatism, but continued to work. He died on March 24, 1882 in Cambridge.

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