Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Influences

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow refined American Literature by reminding Americans of their roots and in the process became an American icon himself. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, a world renowned poet primarily known for his poem “The Courtship of Miles Standish,” lived through many depressing situations. Having his wives and one of his children pass away were a few of the causes that influenced Henry to write. A majority of the time Henry wrote of historical events, culture, and romance. Henry had a plethora of influences to write, but his greatest influence was Washington Irving's “Sketch Book”. Irving was another American author for whom the native legend and landscape were sources of inspiration (Rabe). Henry Wadsworth Longfellow achieved…show more content…
The result was a strange kind of poetry, shuttling between America and Europe, between Puritan reticence and Romantic feeling, between pious instruction and aesthetic pleasure, between aristocratic ideals and egalitarian principle. Longfellow held these oppositions together by keeping his poetry's energies oriented toward his readers. In other words, the popular success of this often self-contradictory poet may have been possible only because the United States in the mid-to-late nineteenth century was such a conflicted place. Longfellow managed to speak to the conflicts and at the same time to seem a safe haven, an anchor in the storm”(“Henry Wadsworth Longfellow” Historic). Henry is an American icon because of his lyrical poems and catchy rhymes. He brought love, heartbreak, and adventure into his poems that few had seen in his time. People today read is poetry and are still awestruck by his wonderous masterpieces of literature. When Henry’s poetry was read it influenced people to do things such as falling in love and adventure. Henry changed the lives of people and American Literature which is why he is now crowned as an American icon and a reminder of the culture that America once had with his vivid imagery and his emotional, melodic
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