By: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)
These are twelve magnificent poems that convey the brilliant talent of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow at its best. These are poems that speak of life, that speak of daily toil and that speak to the common man, the lover, the survivor, the grief stricken - and to those who aspire to be visionaries in a mundane life of perplexity and inexplicable profundity.
These are twelve poems that capture a cross-section of life and describe it in ways both practical and prophetic. These are poems that take us on a journey, a journey from the commonplace to the mystical, from the routine to the unexpected, from loss to rebirth, from tyranny to triumph, "In the perpetual round of strange / Mysterious change".
Longfellow's "mysterious change" is the essence of life, the elixir of existence - that which has bewildered and confused, which has engendered the eternal quest for meaning. These are poems that address this quest and supply new and enabling ideas to further mankind's ceaseless pursuit of knowledge; poems that suggest, as in the daily mission of "The Village Blacksmith", "Thus, at the flaming forge of life, / Our fortunes must be wrought".
- Summary by Bruce Kachuk