American Poetry and Poetics Author:Daniel G. Hoffman "It is a peculiar characteristic of American writing," Daniel Hoffman writes in his introduction, "that its outstanding achievements seem a series of new beginnings rather than a continuous development from one to another." Nevertheless in the years between the Puritan settlement and the beginnings of the modernist movement of the present centu... more »ry there are several continuing concerns which the writings chosen here reflect. These can best be described as opposing tendencies whose contradictions complement one another; the tensions between them give our best poetry its strength. Insofar as we have had poetic theories, they have posed the contradictory bases from which American poetry could be conceived.
Included in this volume are selections from the poetry of: Anne Bradstreet, Edward Taylor, Philip Freneau, William Cullen Bryant, Edgar Allan Poe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, James Russel Lowell, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Walt Whitman, Henry Timrod, Herman Melville, Emily Dickinson, Stephen Crane, George Santayana, Edwin Arlington Robinson, and Robert Frost. Writings about poetry by many of the same poets appear amoung the documents in Part II which go from John Cotton's preface to "The Bay Psalm Book," written in 1640, to Robert Frost's famous "The Figure a Poem Makes," written in 1939.« less