One of the most popular poets of his own time, Longfellow has been dismissed by subsequent generations as a second-rate poet, or a children's poet. This collection of his most significant work seeks to re-establish his reputation as a serious and gifted poet who deserves critical attention.
Longfellow's poetry is at once intensely personal and intensely American. Ranging between voices and styles, Longfellow accomplishes what every poet ought—the full scope not just of human emotion and struggle, but of humanity itself. Introspective enough that we understand the poet himself, yet observant enough to understand what other people think and feel, Longfellow interprets the world for us in innovative and intelligent ways.
This is an important collection from an important writer. As Lawrence Buell writes in his Introduction, "No one can fully comprehend the literary culture of nineteenth-century America without coming to terms with Longfellow's work."
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