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Book Title: Evangeline and Other Poems|
The author of the book: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Edition: Dover Publications
Date of issue: April 3rd 2012
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 17.52 MB
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Reader ratings: 7.1
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This edition of selected poems by Longfellow features the epic poem "Evangeline", which narrates the tale of two lovers separated during "The Great Upheaval", or Britain's forced removal of the Acadian people to the American colonies during the French and Indian War. The poem relies heavily on natural imagery and invocations of the Trinity, and is written in dactylic hexameter, which was also used for Homer's Illiad and Odyssey.
Despite really liking some of the other (shorter) poems in this collection, I'm not a huge fan of this poem. The natural descriptions are stunning and surprisingly, the poem is easy to read despite the meter (I remember finding Homer difficult in high school). But the story doesn't resonate with me.
I suspect that my reaction may be tainted with my position as a 21st-century reader as opposed to a 19th-century reader. For one thing, I think the readers of the 19th century had longer attention spans than I do. Forty-seven pages of metered poetry was a struggle. Also, I can't help but feel that the story of separated lovers wandering the lands in search of each other year after year after year may have been a newer concept to those readers of the past. Or maybe it's that they had a particular fascination with the colonies and early America welcoming the distressed Acadians, uprooted from their homes by common-enemy Britain. Longfellow was known (and criticized) for giving readers what they wanted.
Apparently, Longfellow's account of "The Great Upheaval" has long been considered the most popular (though biased) version. There is even a monument dedicated to the fictional Evangeline in Louisiana. I'm glad I read the poem as it was Longfellow's most-read work, but I had more luck with other poems such as "Carillon" and "Mezzo Cammin."
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Read information about the authorHenry Wadsworth Longfellow was an American poet whose works include "Paul Revere's Ride", The Song of Hiawatha, and "Evangeline". He was also the first American to translate Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy and was one of the five members of the group known as the Fireside Poets.
Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine and studied at Bowdoin College. After spending time in Europe he became a professor at Bowdoin and, later, at Harvard College. His first major poetry collections were Voices of the Night (1839) and Ballads and Other Poems (1842). Longfellow retired from teaching in 1854 to focus on his writing, though he lived the remainder of his life in Cambridge, Massachusetts in a former headquarters of George Washington.
Longfellow predominantly wrote lyric poetry, known for its musicality, which often presented stories of mythology and legend. He became the most popular American poet of his day and also had success overseas. He has been criticized, however, for imitating European styles and writing specifically for the masses.
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