Henry Wadsworth
The Fireside Poet
If we could read
the secret history
of our enemies we
should find in each
man's life sorrow
and suffering
enough to disarm
all hostility.
In character, in
manner, in style, in
all things, the
excellence is
Look not
mournfully into
the past, it comes
not back again.
Promising Start
Longfellow was
born in Portland,
Maine—then still
part of
on February 27,
1807, the second
son in a family of
eight children.
His mother,
Wadsworth, was
the daughter of
a Revolutionary
War hero. His
father, Stephen
Longfellow, was
a prominent
Portland lawyer
A Tragedy
After graduating
from Bowdoin
studied modern
languages in
Europe for three
years, then
returned to
Bowdoin to teach
 In 1831 he married
Mary Storer
Potter of
Portland, a former
classmate, and
soon published his
first book, a
New Beginnings
Longfellow took
a position at
Harvard in 1836.
Three years
later, at the age
of 32, he
published his
first collection
of poems, Voices
of the Night,
followed in 1841
by Ballads and
Other Poems.
Many of these
poems ("A Psalm of
Life," for
example) showed
triumphing over
adversity, and in
a struggling
Frances finally
accepted his
proposal the
spring, ushering
in the happiest 18
years of
life. The couple
had six children,
five of whom
lived to
adulthood, and
the marriage
gave him new
In 1847, he
Midnight Rider
In 1854, Longfellow
decided to quit
teaching to devote
all his time to
poetry. He
Hiawatha, a long
poem about Native
American life, and
The Courtship of
Miles Standish and
Other Poems.
In 1854, Longfellow
decided to quit
teaching to devote
all his time to
poetry. He
Hiawatha, a long
poem about Native
American life, and
Divine Comedy
A few months after
the war began in
1861, Frances
Longfellow was
sealing an envelope
with wax when her
dress caught fire.
Despite her
desperate attempts
to save her, she
died the next day.
 Profoundly
published nothing
for the next two
years. He found
America’s Poet…
When the Civil
War ended in 1865,
the poet was 58.
His most
important work
was finished, but
his fame kept
In London alone,
24 different
companies were
publishing his
work. His poems
were popular
throughout the
world, and they
From 1866 to 1880,
published seven
more books of
poetry, and his
birthday in 1882 was
celebrated across
the country. Died
on March 24, 1882
 When Walt Whitman
heard of the poet's
death, he wrote
that, while
Longfellow's work
"brings nothing
offensive or new,
does not deal hard
blows," he was the
sort of bard most
needed in a
materialistic age:
"He comes as the
Henry’s father wanted him to be a
lawyer; however, Henry felt
otherwise. Being a trustee at Bowdoin
College, it is quite possible his father
secured him his professorship.
Edgar Allen Poe once accused
Longfellow of plagiarism.
Knew 10 languages
Suffered a suicidal depression after
the death of his first wife.
His Bowdoin classmate, Nathaniel
Hawthorne, was a life-long friend.
A great influence on artistic and
popular culture, Longfellow had
everything from schools to cigars to
board games named after him.
 Journal
#5 (150 word
 We live in a world
obsessed with
celebrities: much as
Longfellow’s world
was, except in his
time, writers and
“Paul Revere's Ride”
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Background Information
One of Longfellow’s most famous
Made Paul Revere, a relatively minor
figure from the Revolutionary War, a
national hero
Paul Revere was a blacksmith and
devoted patriot who was a part of the
Boston Tea Party and later, The Boston
Massacre, which he in part created
Had 8 children with his first wife and 8
more with his second
Served with the poet's maternal
grandfather, Peleg Wadsworth, in the
failed Penobscot expedition.
The basic premise of the poem is
historically accurate, but Revere’s
“Paul Revere's Ride”
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Background Information
intention was
not to write a
history; it was
to create a
national hero
and he was
successful at
doing so
 Paul Revere
served as a
symbol of our
nation’s noble
Joseph Campbell’s
“Stages of the Hero”
 The
Call to
Adventure: The
Hero begins the
adventure in some
way or another
 Options:
A) Lured
B) Forced
Joseph Campbell’s
“Stages of the Hero”
Tests/Obstacles to
Overcome: The Hero must go
through a series of tests,
ordeals, or obstacles
during the adventure.
 Options:
A) Monster/Enemy Battle
B) Rescue
C) Journey of Peril
D) Puzzle/Riddle
E) Death/Descent into
Joseph Campbell’s
“Stages of the Hero”
The Return/Reward: The
last part is a return home
or a re-emergence into the
living world by the hero.
The hero usually gains a
reward of some type either
before returning or upon
his return.
 Options (The Return):
A) Fleeing opposing Forces
B) Safe return in which
Joseph Campbell’s
“Stages of the Hero”
Options (Reward):
A) Elixir
B) Medal
C) Treasure
D) Artifact
Please note that this is
the hero’s journey in
its most primitive form.
1. Read the title. What
meanings does it hold?
What can we predict the
poem will be about?
2. Identify the narrative
voice and point of view the
poem is told from. Write it
at the top of the page.
3. Read the poem once
through for general
comprehension. Identify
the rhyme scheme and
5. Read the poem
through again.
Underline any
metaphors or similes
along the way.
Briefly explain them
underneath the
6. Read the poem
7. Read the poem through
once again, commenting
on any lines that reveal
the tone of the poem in
the left hand margin.
8. Read the poem through
once again. Identify any
assonance or
consonance along the
way, underlining the
10. Read the poem again and
highlight any repeated
words. Explain why you
believe the author uses
this repetition at the end
of the poem.
11. Read the poem again.
Identify and explain any
symbols you believe
function within the poem.
This may be explained
during or after reading

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