Message from Another World
I am musing upon a fine book written by a teacher and prolific author, Leroy Armstrong. He is introducing the reader to the life and the work of John Greenleaf Whittier, the old Quaker poet who was once one of the most beloved writers in America. He directs our attention to “Snow-Bound,” which he says is “still the most popular long poem written by an American author,” a judgment that makes sense only on the supposition that plenty of ordinary people read poetry, and love it well enough to remember it and pass it along to their children.
“A study of ‘Snow-Bound,’” says Armstrong, “reveals a great deal of Whittier’s inner life. In the father, ‘a prompt, decisive man,’ we find the source of Whittier’s resolute courage. We see in the son the mother’s gentleness, kindness, and faith in God and man.” Whittier and his beloved younger sister Elizabeth never married, but Armstrong points our attention to a stanza that shows their love for one another most touchingly. “Nowhere in literature,” h…
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