Shortly after the close of the spring semester, we met in a sprawling country house in Charlemont Massachusetts to discuss the role of myths and legends in the work of two major mid-century poets, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and William Morris.  Most of our discussion focused on Longfellow’s Hiawatha (1855) and Volume 1 of Morris’s The Earthly Paradise (1868), although we began to wonder if Tales of a Wayside Inn (1863) might have been the closer counterpart to The Earthly Paradise.  We spent a good amount of time thrashing about in the thickets of these works, thinking through questions of genre, temporality, history, poetic ambition and world-making.  On Sunday we reconvened to work on administrative matters, including the collective composition of a mission statement for the website.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Hiawatha (1855) 

William Morris’s The Earthly Paradise, Vol. 1