Longfellow's Readers

Syud Hossein. Letter to HWL, 10 April 1862.


Letters to Longfellow MS Am 1340.2. Houghton Library.

Like other readers paying tribute to Longfellow, Mr. Hossein from Calcutta describes Longfellow's poetry not in terms of what it is but in terms of what it does. Poetry creates community, and an autograph from Longfellow, which Hossein unabashedly requests in the final paragraph of his letter, will further help cement those ties that unite the lovers of Longfellow in India:

"Your ‘Psalm of life' in particular has done more good to many young men here than any other verse of poetry I know of. The other day I read it to a young friend of mine who has too strong a predilection to airy castle-building; and it went so home to him that he immediately took a copy from me; and I hope has by this time got it by heart and begun to act in its spirit…."