Sunday, September 8, 2013

Longfellow - Poetry

The poetry book brings me next to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, with a poem called 'Paul Revere's Ride'.  The entire poem (found here) is too long for me to type out.  Here is the first couple of stanzas:

Listen my children and you shal hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is no alive
Who remembers that famous day and year:

He said to his friend, "if the British march
By land or sea from the town tonight,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,-
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm."

This is very much a story poem, with very little poetic imagery.  It tells its story well and that is no small thing.  But it doesn't really sing like some of the poems we've come across.  It does have its famous phrase, 'One of by land and two if by sea'.  I'll give it that.  But it's not a favorite of mine.

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