Friday, November 19, 2010

Longfellow Appreciation Day

To me, Longfellow is the literary equivalent of comfort food. As a teenager, I would turn to his poetry again and again. I never grew bored because I chose Longfellow for the way his words made me feel. When I was lost or heartbroken and needed a friend, he was always there, waiting on my bookshelf.

I would stretch out on my bed, turning the pages of my book to The Day Is Done or The Bridge, and speak the words aloud, as though I were reading them to a beloved child. Peace always followed because Longfellow understood me--he had experienced in his day what I was going through in mine. Crossing time, he reached out and threw me a lifeline.

Back then, I didn’t see how human bonds could surpass the kinship of author and reader. Because at that moment I loved Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and like a wise, kindly grandfather, he belonged only to me. There wasn’t another person, living or dead, who understood me as he did, and with sweet reunion, his healing words met my mind. I turned them to suit my mood and put them away in my heart. He had saved me yet again, my gentle poet.

Thank you, Henry. All these years later, you're still my hero.

Do you have any comfort books?

















17 comments:

  1. What a great tribute to an amazing writer. =D

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  2. I do have comfort books but they might surprise you. The Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman. They made me love fantasy!

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  3. What a great post!

    Comfort books...yes. I love novels by female writers that make me feel all warm and cozy.

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  4. Wow, I am totally impressed that Longfellow is your comfort book. Mine are Agatha Christie mysteries.

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  5. Perfume by Patrick Suskind, considering i read romance and try to stay away from all things gory, I really cannot explain the connection.

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  6. I can claim Longfellow also. "I heard the bells on Christmas day, their old familiar carols play..."

    I also love Anne Tyler. Her quirky characters delight me. Delight equals comfort!
    Ann

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  7. Awwwww lovely!!! Thank you Mr Longfellow!! I love how you not only read his poetry for the beauty of his lyrics but also how you embrace them, heart body and soul!

    Ooh my comfort read? Thomas Hardy's Tess D'Urbevilles I don;t know why though - the story breaks my heart! Take care
    x

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  8. I knew there was a reason I loved your library scenes in your story. It comes from one of those deep places in the heart, the best place of all. Funnily enough, the books that comfort me most are scary ones. Maybe because I'm not really going to die, it just feels like it for a minute. In the tradition of old people, I always really liked Edgar Allen Poe.

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  9. Shakespeare is a real comfort to me. When I'm frustrated with my life I read Othello or Tempest or Richard III and find something to inspire me to keep going.

    Jai

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  10. What a cool thing to be called "comfort food". :)

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  11. I've always thought his name was so writerly!

    Depends on my mood, but oftentimes I'll read travel books, & if it's a cold, gloomy day I'll pick up The Road & admire the language. Or I'll read 1984 because it's so depressing & at least I don't have to endure any choco rations.

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  12. This is a great post, Roxy. Comfort books? Hmmm, Yes, I love rom-com novels and children's books - they really do make me laugh.

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  13. Oh I love this post Roxy. It is always a treat to read your words. :)

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  14. I actually don't have a comfort book-- I rarely reread anything because I want to read new things. But I'm rethinking that philosophy lately :-) Enjoy your Longfellow!

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  15. What a great post! I love it! Sadly, I didn't really discover poetry until much later in life. My comfort book was A Wrinkle in Time. I still read it when I need security. Funny the books we turn to for comfort. They are as varied as we are.

    Happy Monday,
    Jen

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  16. I like how you said that Longfellow experienced what you did and could cross the space-time continuum and comfort you. I lean towards the poets for comfort - Dickenson and Frost for classics, and The Writer's Almanac today. My best comfort book is The Music Lover's Poetry Anthology - can't leave home without it!

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  17. I haven't read Longfellow in ages, but I admired him in college.

    I read Plath and Sexton for comfort.

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