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Henry Ford the automobile magnate once stated that the world was built to develop character and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward Daily Quotations Network Man has always struggled with uncontrollable aspects of his environment but his ability to overcome these seemingly indomitable obstacles has earned recognition from numerous classical writers and poets including Henry Wadsworth Longfellow One of the real American Poets of yesterday Montiero Preface Longfellow elaborates on mans perpetual struggle with life and nature in his poetry In A Psalm of Life The Village Blacksmith and The Rainy Day Longfellow explores many facets of mans unyielding willBorn into a prominent family on February 27 1807 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow grew up in the bustling town of Portland Maine His parents Stephen and Zilpah Longfellow provided a strong but refined Puritan background while encouraging Henry to excel in academics Wagenknecht 2 Longfellows education began early when he was enrolled in an old-fashioned dame school Wagenknecht 4 at the age of three His schooling continued in 1815 with his entrance into the Portland Academy At the age of fourteen Longfellow entered Bowdoin College where his academic brilliance earned him a position of fourth in a graduating class of thirty-eight Williams Preface Stephen Longfellow encouraged his son to pursue a stable career in law but Longfellows love of words led him to accept the newly established professorship of modern languages at Bowdoin College Wagenknecht 3 He traveled extensively in France Spain Italy and Germany to refine his language skills in preparation for his six-year long professorship Harvard University offered Longfellow the Smith Professorship of French and Spanish in 1834 and he again traveled to Europe Wagenknecht 5 His wife of four years Mary Storer Potter accompanied him on the trip While they were in the Netherlands Mary suffered a miscarriage and died weeks later from the extreme trauma Wagenknecht 5 Longfellow spent the winter grieving
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