Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is one of the most recognized and treasured American poets in American literature history. The relevancy and hard labor in this poet's literacy works earned him not only national respect but also international prominence. The majority of Longfellow's works were recognized as national cultural stalwarts, and they were memorialized by many readers and authors who analyzed them in current language. Yet, it is important to note that Longfellow's reputation during his day was influenced by shifting literary tastes as well as a backlash to his traditional genteel authorship (Longfellow 1). Longfellow was among the few selected poets in America who had the privilege to receive an honor at the Corner of Westminster Abbey of Poets. This paper focuses on one of Longfellow's literary works and the connection it has to the period of romanticism.

Undying Achievements and Personal Challenges

As demonstrated in many of his literary works, the poet exemplified his undying achievements, both in the nonfictional and the fictional prose in heated modes and variety of poetic forms, and in translation of diverse languages. Despite the personal and career challenges that Longfellow went through, the pressures only strengthened him and kept him going. For instance, the poet still found relevance and meaning in developing literature even after the loss of his beloved first wife, who lost her life due to miscarriage. Moreover, the renowned American poet did not lose hope in life and focused his attention on building literature even after the demise of his second wife, who also perished in a fire. Apparently, these life challenges are what triggered the poet to compose poems like "Aftermath," which does not only create connections with the period of romanticism but also touches on real-life changes. In as much as time might not have given him enough opportunity to show the world that he was the master poet, which he never claimed to be, the poet made a significant contribution to the literary life of America (Longfellow 1). He exemplified the likelihood of a successful career of being an author, through connecting the American poetry to the traditions of Europe beyond England, and by coming up with "Aftermath," which gave a wide readership for romantic poetry.

Connection with Romanticism

As a literary work with a great connection to romanticism, "Aftermath" was one of the beautiful poems with amazing rhythms, which did not only become relevant by the time it was composed but also managed to grasp the changing of seasons. The techniques that Longfellow used as an experienced and passionate poet were not merely having the right choice of words in the poem to create meaning but also summing up thoughts in a line. As a poem relating to the season, "Aftermath" describes the mowing of birds and fields migrating at the end of summer and spring (Longfellow 1). Thereafter, the poet talks about the shedding golden leaves and snow expected in the coming season. Again, this assertion, if understood figuratively and not literally, draws attention to the readers, the connection of this poem to romanticism. Upon touching on all the details of the seasons, the poet claims that now it is the time for an aftermath, just like the title of the poem suggests.

Emphasis on Seasons and Nature

As mostly done in literary pieces touching on romanticism, Longfellow emphasized the seasons and nature. The outdoors gave a clear indication of inspiration to the contemporary writers of the time to which the poet is referring. In a thoughtful analysis, it is justifiable to claim that "Aftermath" follows the journey of changing seasons (Longfellow 1). Even though the readers might view it as a short poem, the few lines and stanzas in the poem reflect on a whole year according to Longfellow. The romanticism period is characterized by stories of travel and change, which the poet speaks about at length in his lines. The author further creates a connection between "Aftermath" and the period of romanticism using personification and alliteration in the poem. When the poet claims that the poppy "drops its seeds," he is personifying the poppy flower to represent a change in season (Longfellow 1). Of course, plants do not have hands, meaning that they may only shed instead of dropping.

Relevance Today

In sum, many things today relate to the "Aftermath" piece. In literal terms, the word 'aftermath' has been used to refer to the outcomes of tragic events. Of course, the poem, together with the experience of the speaker, confirms how several years later, countable tragic incidences darken the perception of the early life of the speaker irredeemably. Moreover, "Aftermath" can be viewed out of the lenses of literature to explain some of the dark moments people go through following painful encounters in their lives. Just like Longfellow's painful experiences when he lost his loved ones, the poem might be an encouragement tool to the readers to be strong and never lose focus on what they need to achieve despite the magnitude of their challenges.

Work Cited

Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. "Aftermath by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow." PoemHunter.Com - Thousands of Poems and Poets.. Poetry Search Engine. Web. 14 Dec. 2011

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