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Longfellow National Historic Site

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's restored historic garden at Longfellow National Historic Site
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's restored historic garden at Longfellow National Historic Site
Longfellow National Historic Site

At Longfellow House National Historic Site Sundays in summer have been special days ever since the 19th century when poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and his family lived in the big yellow mansion on Brattle Street in Cambridge. The Longfellow’s entertained guests with children’s activities, poetry readings and musical presentations on the side porch. Guests would sit in chairs or spread blankets on the expansive lawn.

Today, the Summer Festival 2012 consisting of music, poetry and history are held on Sundays from the beginning June to the end of July. And, these events are FREE and open to the public.

June 10th 2pm – The Art of the Sonnet – poets Stephen Burt from Harvard University and David Mikics from the University of Houston will read selections and comment on the works of poets including Longfellow.

“A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom.” Robert Frost

June 24th 4pm – A Second Look at Robert Frost – poet David Berber poetry editor at The Atlantic Monthly offers a look into the life of Robert Frost. F.D. Reeve talks about traveling with Frost.

July 1st 4pm – Columbia’s Musick a group of baroque instrumentalists and singers present The World of Washington: Man and Myth in Music a musical tribute to George Washington.

July 8th 4pm – Poet novelists James Tate and Dara Wier read selections from their books of poetry.

July 15h 4pm – Emerald Rae and Friends – Fiddler and vocalist Emerald Rae, along with musician friends Jerry Bell and Larry Young, pay tribute to Longfellow’s great friend, Charles Dickens, with Irish music and ballads.

July 22nd 4pm – Armenian Poetry and Song – Singers Yeghishe Manucharyan from the Metropolitan Opera and Opera Boston and Victoria Avetisyan from the National Opera Theater of Armenia and the Boston Lyric Opera are joined by poet Diana Der-Hovanessian in presenting Armenian poetry and songs.

July 29th 4 pm – Newpoli – performs a tribute featuring Italian music to Dante Alighieri. Longfellow was a great admirer of Dante, he translated Dante’s masterpiece The Devine Comedy, publishing it in 1867.

“The love of learning, the sequestered nooks, And all the Sweet serenity of books” –Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Along with music and poetry at Longfellow House National Historic Site Sunday is also family day – every Sunday from June 17th to August 26th from 1pm to 3:30pm there are free activities geared towards children: drawing, painting, 19th century lawn games and a giant poetry board.

Another summer event in Cambridge is the Cambridge Discovery Days August 4th and 11th. This year the Historic Cambridge Collaborative has chosen Power and Politics as the theme. Events and tours (including activities at Longfellow National Historic Site) will take place throughout the city.

To see what other events are happening in Cambridge this summer go to


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