A Poem for a Thursday #46


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) "achieved a level of national and international prominence previously unequaled in the literary history of the United States." What American schoolchild has not read "Paul Revere's Ride" or "Hiawatha"? Longfellow also gave us this gem:

There was a little girl,
            Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
             When she was good,
             She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was horrid.

No, that is not your poem for today. Longfellow was one of the few American writers to be honored in the Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey. Longfellow was viewed as "a champion of poetry in an otherwise prosaic society" and he provided encouragement to other poets including Emily Dickinson. His narrative style poems are out of favor these days and, as readers looked for more complexities in their reading, he fell out of popularity. It is a pity because there is something very appealing about much of his work. It may frequently be sentimental and old-fashioned but it is also very readable.

The tide rises, the tide falls,
The twilight darkens, the curlew calls;
Along the sea-sands damp and brown
The traveller hastens toward the town,
       And the tide rises, the tide falls.

Darkness settles on roofs and walls,
but the sea, the sea in the darkness calls;
The little waves, with their soft, white hands,
Efface the footprints in the sands,
       And the tide rises, the tide falls.

The morning breaks; the steeds in their stalls
Stamp and neigh, as the hostler calls;
The day returns, but nevermore
Returns the traveller to the shore,
      And the tide rises, the tide falls. 

The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Here is the poem Reese at Typings shared this week and here is one from Jennifer at Pastry & Purls.

2 comments