Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine in 1807 and is well known for his poem “Paul Revere’s Ride.” His poetry is known for its musicality and rhythm and his poems made enough of an impact that upon his death on March 24th, 1882 his bust was placed in the Poet’s Corner at Westminster Abbey in London, England. I picked up a book of his “Selected Poems” at the local library and was pleased to get a hold of him. Many of his poems are long but they are entertaining stories filled with intelligent rhyme. Yet again, I did not allow myself time to ask permission to reprint any of his poems and so I can only provide short excerpts. However, I have included the usual links so that you may find out more about him and read his poem in their entirety below.
His poem “The Old Clock on the Stairs” is quite wonderful in that it reminds me of the clock towers you see in towns or cities that have been around for centuries and are a symbol of their community. An excerpt from his stanza reads:

From its case of massive oak,
Like a monk, who, under his cloak,
Crosses himself, and sighs, alas!
With sorrowful voice to all who pass, --

And later on Longfellow describes its ever purposeful presence:

Through days of sorrow and of mirth,
Through days of death and days of birth,
Throughout every swift vicissitude
Of changeful time, unchanged it has stood,…

So many scenes are described in which the clock is a passive witness and Longfellow provides a voice on behalf of the clock who watches and counts the hours for years and years. It is one of my favorite poems. To read the entire poem, go to the Poetry Foundation link provided.


I often think it is a shame there aren’t more rhyming poems published because it can be done intelligently and beautifully like Longfellow. If anyone out there knows of any modern poets who have rhyming poems, please let me know.

Thanks for dropping in, please come by tomorrow for more poems found by Poet Hound…

And because of the idiot who just had to insert a money scam by way of adding to comments, I have now enabled Comment Moderation and have temporarily hidden all comments until either later this week or next. I apologize for any inconvenience.