Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882) a native Portlander educated at Bowdoin College, was an important linguist, translator, educator and the most widely read American poet of the 19th century. Though some poems such as "My Lost Youth" relate specifically to Maine, the vast majority are international, dealing with cultures from Finland to Sicily, Africa, Norway, Spain and American Indian cultures. "Evangeline" showed the plight of the Acadians scattered by the British during the French and Indian wars, while "The Courtship of Miles Standish" strengthened Yankee legend. Longfellow also translated The Divine Comedy into English. Widely celebrated in his day, a portrait bust was placed in Westminister Abby, and his homes in Portland, Maine, and Cambridge, Massachusetts, are now historic places open to the public.

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