Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Poetry
Dreams that Cannot Die

About Longfellow Reads Longfellow
An Interview With Layne Longfellow

longfellow poetry 1

History and Coincidence
Music and Poetry
About the Recordings
Adaptation and Reaction
Longfellow and the Listener
A Dream That Would Not Die


"Thank you for...the elegant Illustrated Edition of your family primer."

Billy Collins
Poet Laureate of the United States

Q: Tell me the difference between the two editions of the Longfellow Poems CD.

A: The Standard Edition gives the full experience of the poems themselves. The readings and music, the printed texts of the poems, and Longfellow's biography are identical to the Illustrated Edition, but in conventional CD packaging. The graphic design on both editions is by Glenna Lang; recordings were done by John Etnier of Studio Dual, and the mixing and mastering by Jonathan Wyner of M-Works.


Q: So why are there two editions?

A:The Illustrated Edition is a celebration of the nineteenth-century bookmaker's art. Its visual elegance reflects the eloquence of the poetry.

The illustrations reproduce steel engravings from my personal copies of his collected works of 1856 and 1885—the original texts of the poems are duplicated from the 1885 volume. The covers reproduce those of Samuel Longfellow's 1886 biography of Henry, issued in an edition of 300; I have number 94.

The remaining illustrations are portraits from the collection of the Longfellow National Historic Site. I think they present the humanness and the family life of Longfellow directly to the reader's heart. There are four portraits of Longfellow that mark your progress through the sections of the book and through his life.

In this edition, I've introduced each poem with a glimpse into Longfellow's world, through excerpts from his journals and diaries. His creativity is obvious when you see the experiences and images and anecdotes from his life that he then transformed into poems, into verse that lives on nearly two centuries later.

The sources that I used, both historical and contemporary, are in the bibliography. The book closes with a reproduction of HWL's signature. I wanted the Illustrated Edition to be as personal as the adaptations, and to reflect this immortal poet and fine human being both warmly and respectfully.



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