Frasi di Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Data di nascita: 27. Febbraio 1807
Data di morte: 24. Marzo 1882
Altri nomi: Longfello Genri Uodsuort, Генри Уодсворт Лонгфелло
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow è stato uno scrittore e poeta statunitense, tra i primi letterati americani ad assurgere alla fama mondiale.
Longfellow fu il più famoso poeta della scena del New England nell''800 e scrisse numerose opere tra cui Evangeline e Il faro. Fu un acceso promotore dell'abolizione della schiavitù negli anni prima e durante la Guerra Civile Americana insieme ad altri intellettuali che gravitavano nell'orbita di Harvard e soprattutto insieme all'allora Governatore del Massachusetts John Andrew.
Intorno al 1862 insieme ai letterati James Russell Lowell, Oliver W. Holmes e George Washington Greene diede vita al cosiddetto "Circolo Dante", atto a promuovere la conoscenza della Divina Commedia di Dante Alighieri negli Stati Uniti. Insieme ai suoi colleghi del circolo, Longfellow ne portò a termine la prima traduzione statunitense in inglese nel 1867. Da allora il successo dell'opera di Dante in America fu costante ed in seguito il Circolo diventò la "Dante Society", una delle più famose associazioni di dantisti nel mondo.
Frasi Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
„Per la maggior parte degli uomini solo la cessazione del miracolo sarebbe miracolosa, e il perpetuo esercizio del potere divino sembra meno meraviglioso di quanto non sarebbe la sua assenza.“
Origine: Citato in Selezione dal Reader's Digest, giugno 1974.
Variante: The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain.
„Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.“
Hyperion http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/5436, Bk. III, Ch. IV (1839).
Variante: Believe me, every heart has its secret sorrows, which the world knows not, and oftentimes we call a man cold, when he is only sad.
Contesto: "Ah! this beautiful world!" said Flemming, with a smile. "Indeed, I know not what to think of it. Sometimes it is all gladness and sunshine, and Heaven itself lies not far off. And then it changes suddenly; and is dark and sorrowful, and clouds shut out the sky. In the lives of the saddest of us, there are bright days like this, when we feel as if we could take the great world in our arms and kiss it. Then come the gloomy hours, when the fire will neither burn on our hearths nor in our hearts; and all without and within is dismal, cold, and dark. Believe me, every heart has its secret sorrows, which the world knows not, and oftentimes we call a man cold, when he is only sad."
„Silently one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven,
Blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels.“
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie
Part I, section 3.
Origine: Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie (1847)
„My soul is full of longing
For the secret of the Sea,
And the heart of the great ocean
Sends a thrilling pulse through me.“
The Secret of the Sea, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
„If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.“
Origine: The Complete Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
„Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall“
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Ballads and Other Poems
Origine: Ballads and Other Poems
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Here Longfellow is translating or paraphrasing an expression attributed to a canon of Seville, also quoted as "we shall have a church so great and of such a kind that those who see it built will think we were mad".
Contesto: "Let us build such a church, that those who come after us shall take us for madmen," said the old canon of Seville, when the great cathedral was planned. Perhaps through every mind passes some such thought, when it first entertains the design of a great and seemingly impossible action, the end of which it dimly foresees. This divine madness enters more or less into all our noblest undertakings.
Contesto: Love makes its record in deeper colors as we grow out of childhood into manhood; as the Emperors signed their names in green ink when under age, but when of age, in purple.
God's-Acre, st. 1 (1842).
Contesto: I like that ancient Saxon phrase, which calls
The burial-ground God's-Acre! It is just;
It consecrates each grave within its walls,
And breathes a benison o'er the sleeping dust.
Elegiac Verse, st. 14 (1879).
Contesto: Great is the art of beginning, but greater the art is of ending;
Many a poem is marred by a superfluous verse.
„The Laws of Nature are just, but terrible. There is no weak mercy in them. Cause and consequence are inseparable and inevitable.“
Contesto: The Laws of Nature are just, but terrible. There is no weak mercy in them. Cause and consequence are inseparable and inevitable. The elements have no forbearance. The fire burns, the water drowns, the air consumes, the earth buries. And perhaps it would be well for our race if the punishment of crimes against the Laws of Man were as inevitable as the punishment of crimes against the Laws of Nature, — were Man as unerring in his judgments as Nature.
Kéramos http://www.worldwideschool.org/library/books/lit/poetry/TheCompletePoeticalWorksofHenryWadsworthLongfellow/chap22.html, st. 3 (1878).
Contesto: Turn, turn, my wheel! All things must change
To something new, to something strange;
Nothing that is can pause or stay;
The moon will wax, the moon will wane,
The mist and cloud will turn to rain,
The rain to mist and cloud again,
To-morrow be to-day.
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Old Clock on the Stairs
The Old Clock on the Stairs, st. 9 (1845).
Contesto: Never here, forever there,
Where all parting, pain, and care,
And death, and time shall disappear,—
Forever there, but never here!
The horologe of Eternity
Sayeth this incessantly,—
"Forever — never!
Never — forever!"
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Reaper and the Flowers
The Reaper and the Flowers, st. 1 (1839).
Contesto: There is a Reaper, whose name is Death,
And, with his sickle keen,
He reaps the bearded grain at a breath,
And the flowers that grow between.
„If spring came but once in a century, instead of once a year, or burst forth with the sound of an earthquake, and not in silence, what wonder and expectation there would be in all hearts to behold the miraculous change!“
Origine: Kavanagh: A Tale (1849), Chapter 13.
Contesto: Ah, how wonderful is the advent of spring! — the great annual miracle of the blossoming of Aaron's rod, repeated on myriads and myriads of branches! — the gentle progression and growth of herbs, flowers, trees, — gentle and yet irrepressible, — which no force can stay, no violence restrain, like love, that wins its way and cannot be withstood by any human power, because itself is divine power. If spring came but once in a century, instead of once a year, or burst forth with the sound of an earthquake, and not in silence, what wonder and expectation there would be in all hearts to behold the miraculous change! But now the silent succession suggests nothing but necessity. To most men only the cessation of the miracle would be miraculous and the perpetual exercise of God's power seems less wonderful than its withdrawal would be.