Early American Poetry
Selections from Bradstreet, Taylor, Dwight, Freneau, and Bryant
Publication Year: 1978
Here is the first major-figure anthology of American poetry of the colonial and early national periods, an indispensable volume for both students and scholars of American literature and civilization.
Five major literary figures are spotlighted: Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672), Edward Taylor (1642?"-1729), Timothy Dwight (1752-1817), Philip Freneau (1752-1832), and William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878). An introduction to each chapter summarizes the life of the poet, reviews his or her literary career, describes and evaluates artistic achievement, and places the poet in an intellectual context. The writer's relationship to changing religious, philosophical, political, and cultural patters is established. The contemporary perspective is augmented by the inclusion of an appendix which presents three important poems by other writers: Micheal Wigglesworth's "God's Controversy with New England," Ebenezer Cook's The Sot-Weed Factor, and Joel Barlow's "Hasty Pudding."
Eberwein goes beyond the most popular and familiar works to include those of unrecognized literary merit, presenting a thoroughly unique approach which illuminates the full range of the writers' themes, forms and poetic voices.
Published by: University of Wisconsin Press
Title Page, Copyright
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THIS IS a major-figure anthology of American poetry in the colonial and early national periods. It examines the changing patterns of our literature through the work of five poets, each representative of a period in America's cultural development but distinctive as well, speaking in a personal voice on a variety of ...
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I ACKNOWLEDGE, gratefully, the cooperation of editors and publishers who have permitted me to include their materials in this anthology. Selections from Anne Bradstreet are reprinted by
ONE Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672)
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LONDON READERS of 1650 must have been startled by the title of an otherwise unimposing volume: The Tenth Muse, Lately Sprung Up in America. The name, perhaps, suggested such marvelous thoughts as the image of an Indian princess leaping from ...
TWO Edward Taylor (1642?-1729)
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LIKE ANNE Bradstreet, Edward Taylor emigrated from England to Massachusetts and found a poetic identity in the wilderness. Coming later, however, to escape the Restoration and King Charles II's Act of Uniformity and settling as a minister on the Connecticut ...
THREE Timothy Dwight (1752-1817)
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SEVERAL GENERATIONS after Edward Taylor, Connecticut, Valley Calvinism found another poetic spokesman in Timothy Dwight, better known for his success as president of Yale but remembered as well for his literary achievements as one of the ...
FOUR Philip Freneau (1752-1832)
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BORN THE same year as Timothy Dwight and, like him, a revolutionary patriot, Philip Freneau was nonetheless a distinctly different poet-different in values, voice, and literary style. He represented a newer strain in American thought: more liberal ...
FIVE William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878)
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THE LAST of our five early American poets, William Cullen Bryant, is often paradoxically remembered as his country's first major poet, not because he came earliest chronologically or was the first to write memorable verses but because he initiated that ...
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Michael Wigglesworth (1631-1705)
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UNLIKE BRADSTREET and Taylor, Michael Wigglesworth used his versifying talents for public instruction in Puritan ideas and attitudes rather than for private reflection on his own spiritual state. As minister to the church at Malden, Massachusetts,
Index of Poets and Titles
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Index of First Lines
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Publication Year: 1978