Summary: This landmark anthology gathers over 1,000 poems by nearly 150 poets to reveal the remarkable beauty and astonishing diversity of the distinctly American tradition of poetry that arose in the 19th century. This first volume extends chronologically from the classical couplets of Philip Freneau to the pioneering free verse of Whitman. Alongside generous selections by Poe, Emerson, Bryant, Longfellow, and Whittier are poems yet to achieve full recognition: mystical sonn
ets by Jones Very, the Romantic fantasias of Maria Gowen Brooks. Woven throughout are popular ballads, hymns, and songs, like "Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "It Came Upon the Midnight Clear," whose lyrics still echo in our American language. Contains newly researched biographical sketches of each poet, a year by year chronology of poets and poetry, and extensive notes.
Summary: This landmark anthology gathers over 1,000 poems by nearly 150 poets to reveal the remarkable beauty and astonishing diversity of the distinctly American tradition of poetry that arose in the 19th century. This first volume extends chronologically from the classical couplets of Philip Freneau to the pioneering free verse of Whitman. Alongside generous selections by Poe, Emerson, Bryant, Longfellow, and Whittier are poems yet to achieve full recognition: mystical sonnets by Jones Very, the Romantic fantasias of Maria Gowen Brooks. Woven throughout are popular ballads, hymns, and songs, like "Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "It Came Upon the Midnight Clear," whose lyrics still echo in our American language. Contains newly researched biographical sketches of each poet, a year by year chronology of poets and poetry, and extensive notes. ...show less
Edition/Copyright:93 Cover: Hardback Publisher:Library of America Year Published: 1993 International: No
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When Freedom from her mountain height Unfurled her standard to the air, She tore the azure robe of night, And set the stars of glory there. She mingled with its gorgeous dyes The milky baldric of the skies, And striped its pure celestial white, With streakings of the morning light; Then from his mansion in the sun She called her eagle bearer down, And gave into his mighty hand, The symbol of her chosen land.
From The American Flag by Joseph Rodman Drake
"There is simply nothing else like it in print."
--Helen Vendler, The New Republic
"This season's highbrow literary hit....Capacious, comprehensive, wide-ranging, and judiciously fair, the Library of America anthology presents the great body of American poetry in the century of the Louisiana Purchase, the Alamo, the Civil War, the expansion of the western frontier, the guilded age and the age of innocence. All the major figures and minor prophets are represented, in proportions both ample and calculated to reflect degrees of greatness. (Walt Whitman gets the most pages, 220; Emily Dickinson has the longest list of titles.) At the same time, the anthology offers a generous sampling of folk songs ('A Home on the Range,' 'Michael Row the Boat Ashore'), spirituals ('Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child'), and 19th-century versions of American Indian poetry.
The American heritage--made up in equal parts of history, local legend, and national myth--rests in the verse monuments perpetuated in these pages. The big guns and great war horses are all here--from the midnight ride of Paul Revere (in Longfellow's telling) to 'John Brown's Body' echoing in the battlefields of the Civil War ('John Brown died that the slave might be free,/ But his soul goes marching on'). Here is Ralph Waldo Emerson's tribute to the New England farmers who 'fired the shot heard round the world,' and here is Emma Lazarus's 'New Colossus' in New York harbor welcoming Europe's 'huddled masses yearning to breathe free.'...Many are the pleasures of rereading and re-assessing that this anthology affords."
--The Washington Post, December 23, 1993
"John Hollander's American Poetry: The Nineteenth Century is a wonder. It is also a work of amazing and quite tactful, almost invisible, erudition. It comes in two large volumes from the Library of America....The best way to conjure up what [Hollander] has accomplished might be to imagine a museum doing a comprehensive show of several hundred nineteenth century American painters.... Hollander has given us...samples of the popular song lyrics of the period, the comic verse from the magazines, the hymn writers, the minstrel show writers, the first Native American poets writing in English, some of the African American poets of the nineteenth century, the folk songs and work songs, the set pieces for school and platform recitation, the spirituals, a very large selection--enough to make a small book in itself--which is a kind of historical anthology of the efforts of nineteenth-century Europeans to translate Native American hunting songs, war songs, sacred songs, riddles, ceremonial chants into a European idiom."
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