Hardly a man is now alive…

This is the 240th anniversary of Paul Revere’s Ride.  Longfellow’s poem starts like this:

Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

It was written in 1861, on the eve of the Civil War, so personal memory of the Revolution had just about died out.  The poem itself is pretty bad, but Longfellow did succeed in his aim of creating a national myth.  No one was building statues of Revere before Longfellow’s poem.

(“2010 NorthEnd Boston 4621037522” by Richard Wood from Tacoma, Washington, USA – Boston 2010-05-02-15. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

While I have your attention, let me recommend David Hackett Fisher’s book Paul Revere’s Ridewhich is just fabulous.

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2 thoughts on “Hardly a man is now alive…

  1. Pingback: In which I attempt to make amends to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow | Richard Bowker

  2. Pingback: In which I run into Edgar Allen Poe | Richard Bowker

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