The Fireside Poets - Henry County School District

The Fireside Poets - Henry County School District

Characteristics of American Literary Romanticism 1. INDIVIDUALISM Popularized by the frontier tradition Jacksonian democracy Supported Abolitionism 2. IMAGINATION Reaction against the earlier ages emphasis

on Reason Abandonment of literary tradition in favor of experimentation Organicism: every idea held within it an inherent structure 3. EMOTION Feeling is now considered superior to rationality as the mode of perceiving and experiencing reality

Intuition leads one to truth Truth/reality are now highly subjective 4. NATURE The means of knowing Truth God reveals himself solely through Nature Nature becomes a moral teacher The actual subject matter of the Romantics

5. DISTANT SETTINGS Both in terms of time and place Used to comment on attitudes of the time period The Fireside Poets Americas First Literary Stars What are the Fireside

Poets? First group of American poets to rival British poets in popularity in either country. Notable for their scholarship and the resilience of their lines and themes. Preferred conventional forms over experimentation. Often used American legends and scenes of American life as their subject

matter. Who were the Fireside Poets? Henry Wadsworth Longfellow William Cullen Bryant James Russell Lowell

Oliver Wendell Holmes John Greenleaf Whittier Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 1807-1882 Composed Song of Hiawatha,

Paul Reveres Ride Psalm of Life The Day Is Done Translated Dantes Inferno from Italian into English William Cullen Bryant 1794-1878 Composed To a

Waterfowl and Thanatopsis One of the founders of the Republican party and supporter of Lincoln James Russell Lowell 1819-1891

Composed The First Snowfall and The Present Crisis Active in antislavery causes Oliver Wendell Holmes 1809-1894 Medical doctor invented the term

anesthesia. Composed Old Ironsides, which saved the U.S.S. Constitution from the scrap yard Father of Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. John Greenleaf Whittier

1807-1892 Composed Snowbound , Maude Muller and Barefoot Boy Active in antislavery movement Lasting Impact Longfellow remained the most popular American poet for decades. When Poe criticized him, he was all but ostracized. Longfellow remains the

only American poet to be immortalized by a bust in Westminster Abbeys Poets Corner They took on causes in their poetry, such as the abolition of slavery, which brought the issues to the forefront in a palatable way. Through their scholarship and editorial efforts, they paved the way for later Romantic writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman.

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