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Becoming Longfellow: Work, Manhood, and Poetry

Becoming Longfellow: Work, Manhood, and Poetry American Literature, Volume 72, Number 1, March 2000. Copyright © 2000 by Duke University Press. Tseng 2000.2.24 11:09 5995 AL 72:1 / sheet 64 of 246 American Literature you are placed, and to become distinguished among the literary men of the age.2 Over the next several years, as he lectured on Dante and Goethe to classes made up of the sons of New England’s elite, as he befriended up-and-coming young men such as Cornelius Felton and Charles Sumner, and as he made a place for himself in Cambridge and Boston society, Longfellow began writing poetry for the first time in years, perhaps in part to meet the challenge his father had set him. His poems from this period seem motivated by a new sense of public obligation, a determination to be useful and instructive as a poet, and a desire to improve and uplift his readers. In moving to Cambridge and taking up his duties at Harvard, Longfellow entered a sphere that gave added impetus and scope to the incipient paternalism of his poetry. The tier of New England society to which Longfellow belonged was made up of prominent families whose men became distinguished in law, religion, medicine, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Literature Duke University Press

Becoming Longfellow: Work, Manhood, and Poetry

American Literature , Volume 72 (1) – Mar 1, 2000

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2000 by Duke University Press
ISSN
0002-9831
eISSN
1527-2117
DOI
10.1215/00029831-72-1-59
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

American Literature, Volume 72, Number 1, March 2000. Copyright © 2000 by Duke University Press. Tseng 2000.2.24 11:09 5995 AL 72:1 / sheet 64 of 246 American Literature you are placed, and to become distinguished among the literary men of the age.2 Over the next several years, as he lectured on Dante and Goethe to classes made up of the sons of New England’s elite, as he befriended up-and-coming young men such as Cornelius Felton and Charles Sumner, and as he made a place for himself in Cambridge and Boston society, Longfellow began writing poetry for the first time in years, perhaps in part to meet the challenge his father had set him. His poems from this period seem motivated by a new sense of public obligation, a determination to be useful and instructive as a poet, and a desire to improve and uplift his readers. In moving to Cambridge and taking up his duties at Harvard, Longfellow entered a sphere that gave added impetus and scope to the incipient paternalism of his poetry. The tier of New England society to which Longfellow belonged was made up of prominent families whose men became distinguished in law, religion, medicine,

Journal

American LiteratureDuke University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2000

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