Study Guide

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By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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A Big Slice of America, Served Up with a Side of Morality

Longfellow didn't write exclusively about American history, but some of his most famous poems deal with important events in the country's past. Check out "Paul Revere's Ride" and "The Song of Hiawatha" for two of his biggies. And while you do, notice that Longfellow's pretty big on what's called didactic writing. That means, he's trying to teach us a lesson through his poetry (like how to be a good person, or how to avoid pain and suffering). So be careful when you read his work—you just might learn something.