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The Elms - Stephen Longfellow's Gorham Farm

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Mr. Finney's Turnip

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Mr. Finney's Turnip / Maine Historical Society

Many of the early histories of Gorham claim that Henry wrote his first poem as a boy behind the barn at his grandfather's farm. That poem, "Mr. Finney's Turnip," was set to music in 1940 by Roland Leich giving credit for the lyrics to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Today "Mr. Finney's Turnip" is included in anthologies of nonsense verse with an anonymous author. Longfellow denied authorship in his journals, and James Baldwin in Fifty Famous People writes that "you must never, never, never, NEVER think that Henry Longfellow wrote some funny little verses about Mr. Finney's turnip."


Item 14 of 22