The Poets’ Niche

By Mark Sconce

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

longfellow-IIHenry Wadsworth Longfellow



For those sensitive Readers who yearn for a friendly verse, of poetic rhyme, of piquant turn of phrase, of unmuddled message and salubrious rhythm—a cousin to the Rhythm that pervades our cosmos and even our lives on planet Earth. For those befuddled Readers who squirm when reading a modern poet, a modern like, say, Federico Garcia Lorca, (1898-1936) Spain’s poet rage of a generation.

With a spoon he scooped out the eyes of crocodiles

And spanked the monkeys on their bottoms. With a spoon.

Fire of all times slept in the flints and the beetles drunk with anis

Forgot the moss of the villages.

Tr. Stephen Spender y J.L. Gili

For those bewildered Readers, I have just the anodyne poet. His works are all but lost to modern memories except yours and mine. Let us praise once more then, before he fades into star dust, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. What a life, what a man!

A son of Massachusetts, but a graduate of Bowdoin College in Maine, he went on to become a popular professor at Harvard and an Honorary Doctorate of Laws. He was clearly the most popular poet of his time and was hailed around the world as America’s first great poet. With such poems as The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, The Song of Hiawatha, Evangeline, The Wreck of the Hesperus, he engaged the imagination of a generation both before and after the Civil War. Column space permits just a few stanzas. Forget for a moment the jangle, din and shrieks of discordant modern life.

From the brow of Hiawatha
Gone was every trace of sorrow,
As the fog from off the water,
As the mist from off the meadow.
With a smile of joy and triumph,
With a look of exultation,
As of one who in a vision
Sees what is to be, but is not,
Stood and waited Hiawatha.


You know the rest. In the books you have read,
How the British Regulars fired and fled,--
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farm-yard wall,
Chasing the red-coats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.


It was the schooner Hesperus that sailed the wintry sea;
And the skipper had taken his little daughter to bear him company.

He wrapped her warm in his seaman’s coat against the stinging blast;
He cut a rope from a broken spar and bound her to the mast.


At daybreak, on the bleak sea-beach, a fisherman stood aghast,
To see the form of a maiden fair lashed close to a drifting mast.

When’s the last time you read the words “wealthy poet.” Almost seems like a contradiction in terms. Yet at his height, Long fellow could fetch $3,000 per poem! And at his death, he had over $350,000 in the bank, a tidy sum in those days following the Civil War.

Then from each black accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound the carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong, and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail, the Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!”




Bridge By The Lake
Bridge By The Lake  By Ken Masson August 2020 Bridge By The Lake July 2020 Bridge By The Lake June 2020 Bridge By
The Poets’ Niche
The Poets’ Niche By Mark Sconce December 2013 Pablo Neruda (1904-1973) October 2013 Translations: A Chinese
Child of the Month
Child of the MonthBy Nicole Sergent   May 2018 Izel April 2018 Maria Guadalupe A.T. March 2018 Meet The Children January
The Golden Age Of Mexican Cinema
The Golden Age Of Mexican Cinema By Herbert W. Piekow   In March 2010 I went to Museo de Arte de Zapopan, with my friend Juan Carlos, to see an
The Dark Side Of The Dream
The Dark Side Of The Dream By Alejandro Grattan-Dominguez, Arte Publico Press 434 pages $11.95 US Reviewed by ROB MOHR (Initially published in The
Wordwise With Pithy Wit - January 2011
Wordwise With Pithy Wit By Tom Clarkson   This morning, my pal F.T. – who shared the Iraq experience with me during my third trek there – forwarded
Lakeside Living - November 2012
LAKESIDE LIVING Kay Davis Phone: 376 – 108 – 0278 (or 765 – 3676 to leave messages) Email: November
Front Row Center - April 2011
Front Row Center By Michael Warren    The Pajama Game By Richard Adler and Jerry Ross Directed by Peggy Lord Chilton Music directed
Every Word Important
Every Word  Important By Herbert W. Piekow   Every word a writer writes has meaning yes, sometimes they never get published or the book
LEGERDEMAIN—Italian Style - November 2009
LEGERDEMAIN—Italian Style By Jim Rambologna   Enzio Grattani was the Editor-in-Chief of a local rivista (or magazine) in Ajiermo, Italy. Locals