Photo-Secession At the beginning of American modernism, photography still struggled to be recognized as a form of art.
There are 14 such writers whom we might on that basis call American poets they had actually been to America and to different degrees, written poems or verses about the place. Early examples include a "testimonial poem" on the sterling warlike character of Captain John Smith in Barbour, ed.
William Morrell's "Nova Anglia" or "New England," which is a rhymed catalog of everything from American weather to glimpses of Native women, framed with a thin poetic "conceit" or "fiction" characterizing the country as a "sad and forlorn" female pining for English domination.
Then in May Thomas Morton of Merrymount — an English West Country outdoorsman, attorney at law, man of letters and colonial adventurer — raised a Maypole to celebrate and foster more success at this fur-trading plantation and nailed up a "Poem" and "Song" one a densely literary manifesto on how English and Native people came together there and must keep doing so for a successful America; the other a light "drinking song" also full of deeper American implications.
These were published in book form along with other examples of Morton's American poetry in "New English Canaan" ; and based on the criteria of "First," "American" and Poetry," they make Morton and not Anne Bradstreet America's first poet in English.
See Jack Dempsey, ed. Phillis Wheatleya slave, wrote poetry during the Colonial Period. She also wrote tender evocations of home, family life and of her love for her husband, many of which remained unpublished until the 20th century.
Edward Taylor — wrote poems expounding Puritan virtues in a highly wrought metaphysical style that can be seen as typical of the early colonial period. The earliest "secular" poetry published in New England was by Samuel Danforth in his "almanacks" for —,  published at Cambridge; these included "puzzle poems" as well as poems on caterpillars, pigeons, earthquakes, and hurricanes.
Of course, being a Puritan minister as well as a poet, Danforth never ventured far from a spiritual message. A distinctly American lyric voice of the colonial period was Phillis Wheatleya slave whose book "Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral," was published in She was one of the best-known poets of her day, at least in the colonies, and her poems were typical of New England culture at the time, meditating on religious and classical ideas.
This trend is most evident in the works of Philip Freneau —who is also notable for the unusually sympathetic attitude to Native Americans shown in his writings, sometimes reflective of a skepticism toward Anglo-American culture and civilization.
The work of Rebecca Hammond Lard —although quite old, still apply to life in today's world. She writes about nature, not only the nature of environment, but also the nature of humans.
The early poetry is dominated by the need to preserve the integrity of the Puritan ideals that created the settlement in the first place. As the colonists grew in confidence, the poetry they wrote increasingly reflected their drive towards independence.
This shift in subject matter was not reflected in the mode of writing which tended to be conservative, to say the least. This can be seen as a product of the physical remove at which American poets operated from the center of English-language poetic developments in London.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in The first significant poet of the independent United States was William Cullen Bryant —whose great contribution was to write rhapsodic poems on the grandeur of prairies and forests.
The name "Fireside Poets" is derived from that popularity: The poets' primary subjects were the domestic life, mythology, and politics of the United States, in which several of the poets were directly involved. As might be expected, the works of all these writers are united by a common search for a distinctive American voice to distinguish them from their British counterparts.
To this end, they explored the landscape and traditions of their native country as materials for their poetry. This poem uses Native American tales collected by Henry Rowe Schoolcraftwho was superintendent of Indian affairs for Michigan from to Longfellow also imitated the meter of the Finnish epic poem Kalevalapossibly to avoid British models.
The resulting poem, while a popular success, did not provide a model for future U. Emerson, arguably one of the founders of transcendentalism, had visited England as a young man to meet these two English poets, as well as Thomas Carlyle.
While Romanticism transitioned into Victorianism in post-reform England, it grew more energetic in America from the s through to the Civil War. Edgar Allan Poe was a unique poet during this time, brooding over themes of the macabre and dark, connecting his poetry and aesthetic vision to his philosophical, psychological, moral, and cosmological theories.
He declined in popularity as a poet, however, and alienated himself from his contemporaries by publicly accusing Henry Wadsworth Longfellow of plagiarism —although Longfellow never responded.In Modernist literature, it was the poets who took fullest advantage of the new spirit of the times, and stretched the possibilities of their craft to lengths not previously imagined.
In general, there was a disdain for most of the literary production of the last century. Among the most instrumental of all artists in effecting this change were a handful of American poets. Ezra Pound, the most aggressively modern of these poets, made "Make it new!" his battle cry.
This free, not-for-credit online course, the sixth installment in the multi-part HarvardX Poetry in America series, explores a diverse array of American Modernist poets and poems. While “Modernism” is notoriously difficult to define, the movement spanned the decades from the s to the mids, and the poetry of this period marked a clear break from past traditions and past forms.
Ezra Pound vowed to “make it new” and “break the pentameter,” while T.S. Eliot wrote The Waste Land in the shadow of World War I.
Shortly after The Waste Land was published in , it became the archetypical Modernist text, rife with allusions, linguistic fragments, and mixed registers and languages. The curriculum unit ends with T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”; this lesson requires students to analyze modernist poetry in more depth and detail.
You may extend the unit by teaching additional modernist poets such as Marianne Moore, Jean . These were published in book form along with other examples of Morton's American poetry in "New English Canaan" (); and based on the criteria of "First," "American" and Poetry," they make Morton (and not Anne Bradstreet) America's first poet in English.
The modernist torch was carried in the s mainly by the group of poets known as.