Excerpt from A Study of the Children's Poet
To make a success of the study of Longfellow a teacher can not be too familiar with his poems. She must read and re read the simpler poems, make them so thoroughly a part of herself, that she will be a living inspiration to her pupi... ls.
If we compel pupils to learn certain facts about an author, it will not have the desired effect. We must teach them to love those of whom they are studying and it certainly is an easy matter to make them love such a character as our Longfellow. The very fact of his having loved the children so dearly, and written so extensively about them insures their interest.
Let us first take them on a little imaginary trip to the city of Portland, Maine. Tell something of the city of Portland, near the sea. Do the children know what the sea is? If not, tell them. Show them the picture of Longfellow's home at Portland. Tell them of a dear, little, blue-eyed, auburn haired baby that once came to live in that home; how he grew and grew, just as babies always do; how he listened to the songs of the birds and the song of the sea, and the beautiful thoughts they whispered to him. Tell of his surroundings; the old Deering woods through which he used to wander; the old fort on the hill near his borne, from which a gun was fired every morning at sunrise. Tell of his school life; his later college life, especially emphasizing his boyish experiences and games. Teach the children to love him as a child, and later as a man and poet.
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