Cover image for Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, 1807-1882.
Uniform Title:
Poems. Selections
Publication Information:
New York : Sterling Pub., [1998]
Physical Description:
48 pages : color illustrations ; 27 cm.
An illustrated selection of twenty-seven complete or excerpted poems by the renowned nineteenth-century New England poet. Also includes information about his life.
General Note:
Includes index.
Reading Level:
NP Lexile.
Program Information:
Reading Counts RC 6-8 7.1 4 Quiz: 28541 Guided reading level: NR.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Newstead Library PS2253 .S36 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Clarence Library PS2253 .S36 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Concord Library PS2253 .S36 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
East Aurora Library PS2253 .S36 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
North Collins Library PS2253 .S36 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Williamsville Library PS2253 .S36 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Audubon Library PS2253 .S36 1998 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Children instinctively love poetry, with its appealing mixture of rhythm and rhyme. And Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, with his suspenseful narrative verse, deceptively simple structure, and powerful images of 19th-century United States, makes an especially suitable subject for the critically acclaimed Poetry for Young People series. Brilliant, specially commissioned artwork brings to life all the atmosphere, drama, and emotion of his writing: the vital energy of "The Village Blacksmith," the urgency of "Paul Revere's Ride," and the sorrow of "The Wreck of the Hesperus." An opening essay tells of Longfellow's life: his childhood in Maine, his family history (the Longfellows played a major role in New England politics), his success as a professor of foreign languages, and his often-tragic personal life. More than just a biography, it reveals the inspiration for many of Longfellow's most popular works. Nearly 30 poems appear, most in their entirety, including "The Arrow and the Song," "The Rainy Day," "Woods in Winter," "The Forest Primeval" (from "Evangeline"), "Hiawatha's Childhood" (from "Song of Hiawatha"), "A Psalm of Life," and the abolitionist "The Witnesses." As always in this series, supplementary word definitions give children the knowledge they need to fully understand the poems. 48 pages (all in color), 8 1/2 x 10.

Author Notes

During his lifetime, Longfellow enjoyed a popularity that few poets have ever known. This has made a purely literary assessment of his achievement difficult, since his verse has had an effect on so many levels of American culture and society. Certainly, some of his most popular poems are, when considered merely as artistic compositions, found wanting in serious ways: the confused imagery and sentimentality of "A Psalm of Life" (1839), the excessive didacticism of "Excelsior" (1841), the sentimentality of "The Village Blacksmith" (1839). Yet, when judged in terms of popular culture, these works are probably no worse and, in some respects, much better than their counterparts in our time.

Longfellow was very successful in responding to the need felt by Americans of his time for a literature of their own, a retelling in verse of the stories and legends of these United States, especially New England. His three most popular narrative poems are thoroughly rooted in American soil. "Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie" (1847), an American idyll; "The Song of Hiawatha" (1855), the first genuinely native epic in American poetry; and "The Courtship of Miles Standish" (1858), a Puritan romance of Longfellow's own ancestors, John Alden and Priscilla Mullens. "Paul Revere's Ride," the best known of the "Tales of a Wayside Inn"(1863), is also intensely national. Then, there is a handful of intensely personal, melancholy poems that deal in very successful ways with those themes not commonly thought of as Longfellow's: sorrow, death, frustration, the pathetic drift of humanity's existence. Chief among these are "My Lost Youth" (1855), "Mezzo Cammin" (1842), "The Ropewalk" (1854), "The Jewish Cemetery at Newport" (1852), and, most remarkable in its artistic success, "The Cross of Snow," a heartfelt sonnet so personal in its expression of the poet's grief for his dead wife that it remained unpublished until after Longfellow's death. A professor of modern literature at Harvard College, Longfellow did much to educate the general reading public in the literatures of Europe by means of his many anthologies and translations, the most important of which was his masterful rendition in English of Dante's Divine Comedy (1865-67).

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 4-6. Longfellow is, perhaps, not as much in fashion as he once was, but many of his poems remain classics and are read in schools. This collection offers 27 of his works, among them, "The Village Blacksmith," "The Wreck of the Hesperus," "The Children's Hour," "Paul Revere's Ride," and "Hiawatha's Childhood" from "The Song of Hiawatha." A several-page introduction to Longfellow's life also includes some of the stories behind the poems. Each poem gets a page or more and is fully illustrated by a painting. The pictures range from spirited to workmanlike, and the one for "The Rainy Day," which features an old, depressed-looking man, is downright dreary. Libraries looking for a collection of Longfellow's works will find this serviceable. (Reviewed March 15, 1999)0806994177Ilene Cooper

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-8-Schoonmaker's careful selection and meticulous editing, and Wallace's luminous full-color paintings (some dramatic, some serene, and all in harmony with the verses featured) will make Longfellow's work more approachable to children. The poems range from lengthy works (e.g., "Hiawatha's Childhood") to ballads (e.g., "The Wreck of the Hesperus") and shorter pieces (e.g., "The Arrow and the Song"). Biographical information and some background on the selections are included. Unfamiliar terms are discreetly defined on the pages where they occur. A slim, attractive introduction to a classic American poet.-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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