Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie, is an epic poem by the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, published in 1847. The poem follows an Acadian girl named Evangeline and her search for her lost love Gabriel, set during the time of the Expulsion of the Acadians. The idea for the poem came from Longfellow's friend, Nathaniel Hawthorne. Longfellow used dactylic hexameter, imitated from Greek and Latin classics, though the choice was criticized. It was published in 1847 and became Longfellow's most famous work in his lifetime. It remains one of his most popular and enduring works. The poem had a powerful effect in defining both Acadian history and identity in the nineteenth and twentieth century. More recent scholarship has revealed the historical errors in the poem and the complexity of the Expulsion and those involved, which the poem ignores.
"At the door on summer evenings Sat the little Hiawatha; Heard the whispering of the pine-trees, Sounds of music, words of wonder . . ." The infectious rhythm of The Song of Hiawatha has captured the ears of millions. Once drawn in, they've stayed to hear about the young brave with the magic moccasins, who talks with animals and uses his supernatural gifts to bring peace and enlightenment to his people. America's most popular nineteenth-century poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow devoted himself to providing his country with a national mythology, poetic tradition, and epic forms. Known and loved by generations of schoolchildren for its evocative storytelling, his 1855 classic is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature, combining romance and idealism in an idyllic natural setting.
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