By Sacvan Bercovitch
The members to this quantity speak about the intense literary fulfillment of 19th century American poetry in its social and cultural contexts. Key contributions discover the early Federalist poets; the achievements of Longfellow and Whittier; and the distinct lyric types built by means of Emerson and the Transcendentalists. one other bankruptcy offers a brand new standpoint at the fulfillment of lady poets of the interval, together with rising African-American poets, in addition to the foremost canonical figures.
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Extra resources for The Cambridge History of American Literature, Vol. 4: Nineteenth-Century Poetry, 1800-1910
Comic poetry was usually topical, and this fact explained some of its initial appeal. But the imagery of comic poems often remains memorable long after the targets of its wrath have disappeared. ” Fitz-Greene Halleck’s best images of old age occur during a tribute to an aging New York political hack, who, like the poet himself, is Ripened like summer’s cradled sheaf Faded like autumn’s falling leaf – And nearing, sail and signal spread, The quiet anchorage of the dead. (“The Recorder”) Even more remarkable is the metrical fluency of comic verse.
Paulding’s cabbages were one favorite target of Drake’s ridicule; he also loved to poke fun at Samuel Woodworth, author of the popular poem “The Bucket” (now usually called “The Old Oaken Bucket”). Drake mocked both poets in a poem inscribed to another forgotten poetaster, John Minshull, then traveling in England. neoclassicism: comic and satiric verse 35 Oh! bard of the West, hasten back from Great Britain, Our harp-strings are silent, they droop on the tree; What poet among us is worthy to sit in That chair whose fair cushion was hallowed by thee?
American poets tried their hands at georgic, mock-epic, and that American invention known as the “rising glory” poem – in which the poet, surveying the new nation from a mount of vision, foretells the rising glory of America. Finally, there was the epic, that crowning glory without which no people could be said to have achieved admission to the company of civilized nations. The best way to get a sense of the full range of neoclassical possibilities in American verse is to look at the career of Joel Barlow, whose epic, The Columbiad, was intended (as its Preface asserts) both “to inculcate the love of rational liberty” in the citizens of the United States and to confer on the new nation the poetic dignity it lacked.
The Cambridge History of American Literature, Vol. 4: Nineteenth-Century Poetry, 1800-1910 by Sacvan Bercovitch