Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was an American writer and poet, among the first American writers to rise to worldwide fame.

He gave birth to the “Dante Club” to promote the knowledge of the Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri in the United States, completing the first American translation in English in 1867.

His stay in Florence can be seen on this plate which is located in Piazza Santa Maria Novella.longfellow
The sonnet, GIOTTO’s TOWER, is taken from “Flower-de-Luce”

                 How many lives, made beautiful and sweet                giottos
                 By self-devotion and by self-restraint,                                                    Whose pleasure is to run without complaint
                 On unknown errands of the Paraclete,

                 Wanting the reverence of unshodden feet,
                 Fail of the nimbus which the artists paint
                 Around the shining forehead of the saint,
                 And are in their completeness incomplete!

                 In the old Tuscan town stands Giotto’s Tower,
                 The lily of Florence blossoming in stone, —
                 A vision, a delight, and a desire, —
                 The builder’s perfect and centennial flower,

                 That in the nights of ages bloomed alone,                                                              But wanting still the glory of the spire.