sharing my love of books with you

Author: Cadie (Page 2 of 34)


Refluent – flowing back, ebbing as the tide

“Half the task was not done when the sun went down, and the twilight

Deepened and darkened around; and in haste the refluent ocean

Fled away from the shore, and left the line of the sand-beach

Covered with waifs of the tide, with kelp and the slippery seaweed.

Henry wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline

Tocsin’s Alarum

Tocsin’s Alarum – an alarm bellow the ringing of it; a warning signal

“Deep were his tones and solemn; in accents measured and mournful

Spake he, as, after the tocsin’s alarum, distinctly the clock strikes.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Jocund – merry, cheerful, genial, sportive

“Many a glad good-morrow and jocund laugh from the young folk

Made the bright air brighter…”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Glebe – turf, soil, ground

“Built are the house and the barn. The merry lads of the village

Strongly have built them and well; and, breaking the glebe round about them,

Filled the barn with hay, and the house with food for a twelvemonth.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline


Seraglio – the place of a Turkish sultan or noble; formerly the palace of the sultan of Turkey at Constantinople

“There stood the broad-wheeled wains and the antique ploughs and the harrows;

There were the folds for the sheep; and there, in his feathered seraglio,

Strutted the lordly turkey, and crowed the cock with the selfsame

Voice that in ages of old had startled the penitent Peter.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline

Lawrence Buell on Longfellow’s Hiawatha

“A fairer reading of Longfellow’s work, however, would be this: Hiawatha was a one-time experiment for him, not to be taken as the quintessence of his muse but as one among other occasional attempts to extend his treatment of American life beyond the regional and cultural boundaries he knew best… Although his experiment failed by any exacting standard, at least it was vigorous enough to establish itself, along with James Fenimore Cooper’s novels, ahead of the thousand of other contemporary literary evocations of Indian life.”

Lawrence Buell, in the introduction to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Selected Poems


Mellifluous – flowing sweetly and smoothly; honeyed; said of words, sounds, etc.

“[The two excepts of Hiawatha in this volume] show the poem to be mellifluous, prettily and sometimes even beautifully imagistic, but shallow; a pleasant literary-anthropological tour de force but nothing more.”

Lawrence Buell, in the introduction to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Selected Poems

William Charvat on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“Longfellow was one of the greatest of all promoters of the arts. Ninety percent of all the poems he ever wrote contained some favorable reference to poetry, poets, artists, art, scholars, or literature. Bards are sublime, grand, immortal; singers are sweet; songs are beautiful; art is wondrous; books are household treasures. Hans Sachs is remembered after kaisers are forgotten. Micheal Angelo is impudent to cardinals. John Alden, the scholar, wins out over Miles Standish, the man of action.”

William Charvat, as quoted by Lawrence Buell, in the introduction to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Selected Poems

August 12, 2023

It’s a Coffee and Books kind of day here. After this long week, I’m ready to enjoy some quiet time alone in my library. I chose my biggest mug and filled it with coffee (I’ll have tea later).

But, instead of reading a book today, I am planning on writing one. It’s still in the beginning stages, but I am very excited about it.

Sadly, I put Lion in the White House back on my shelf. I’m afraid I do this a lot with biographies: I start them, determined I will read to the end, and then I get distracted or bored or whatever. I lose interest about half-way through. That’s what happened this time. I did leave the bookmark in place though. I might pick it up again one day.

As you can guess, my own writing is my biggest distraction, but I’ve also been enjoying Longfellow. I finished three of his longer poems, and I’m in the middle of a fourth. The volume I’m reading is half long and half short poems, a good mixture for me since I’m new to Longfellow.

I encourage you to find a poet you’ve heard about but haven’t read. Try at least one volume of their work; see what you think. If you like their poetry – great! – keep reading them. If not, find someone else. A lot of people think poetry is hard, but it doesn’t have to be. My advice is to take it in small portions. When I was reading Emily Dickinson, I would read a few poems each night ’til I found one that I really liked. Then I would re-read that one a few times, maybe share it on this blog, and place my bookmark there. The next time I returned to the book, I would start with that one and proceed.

Today, my poet recommendations are Mary Oliver, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Emily Dickinson. The more I read, the longer that list will grow. Until then, Happy Reading!


Effete – barren; no longer capable of producing, as an animal, a soil, etc; hence, exhausted, barren, sterile, inefficient though age, use, or decay

“Hawthorne’s work is shot through with shamefaced apologies, partly but only partly tongue-in-cheek, for the effeteness of romancing.

Lawrence Buell, in the introduction to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Selected Poems
« Older posts Newer posts »