English Fireside Poets

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Last updated: December 12, 2019

Why were they called Fire side poets?
The label Fireside poets described the readers sitting in front of the family fire, enjoying, reading

What are the Fireside poets?
-First group of American Poets to revival British poets in popularity in either country-Notable for their scholarship and the resilence of their lines and themes-Preferred conventional forms over experimentation of American life as their subject mater- Often used American legends and Scences of the American Life as their subject matter

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Who were the Fireside Poets?
1) Henry Wadsworth Longfellow2) Oliver Wendell Holmes3) James Russell Lowell4) John Greenleaf Whittier5) William Cullen Bryant

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
1807-1882Composed Hiawatha, Paul Revere’s Ride, & EvangelineTranslated Dante’s Inferno from Italian to English

William Cullen Bryant
1794-1878-Composed “Thanatopsis”- One of the Founders of the Republican party and supporter of Lincoln

James Russell Lowell
1819-1891-Of the prominent Boston Brahmn Lowell family- Active in Anti-slavery causes

Oliver Wendell Holmes
1809-1894-Medical Doctor who invented the term “Anesthesia”-Composed “Old Ironside” which saved the USS Constitution from scrapyard-Father of Supreme Court Justice-Wrote The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table

John Greenleaf Whittier
1807-1892-Composed Snow-Bound and Legends of New England-Active in Anti-Slavery movements

Lasting Impact: Who was the most popular American poet for decades?
Longfellow. When Poe criticized him, he was all but ostriated.

Longfellow remains the only American poet to be immortalized by a bust in Westminister Abbey’s Poets Corner.

What causes did the Fireside Poets take up?
They took on causes in their poetry, such as the abolination of slavery, which brought the issues to the forefront in a palatable way

What did the Fireside poets pave the way for ?
Through their scholarship and eclictal efforts, they paved the way for later Romantic writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman.

Transdentalism Basic 4 Premises.

Explain each.

Basic Premise #1: An individual is the spiritual center of the universe, and in an individual can be found the clue to nature, history, and ultimately, the cosmos itself. It is not a rejection of the existence of God, but a preference to explain an individual and the world in terms of an individual.Basic Premise #2: The structure of the universe literally duplicates the structure of the individual self- all knowledge, there for, begins with self-knowledge. This is similar to Aristotle’s dictum, “know thyself.”Basic Premise #3: Transdentalists accepted the concept of nature as a living mystery, full of signs; nature is symbolicBasic Premise #4: The belief that individual virtue and happiness depends upon self-realization – this this depends upon the reconcilization of two universal physchological tendencies: a) The desire to embracer the whole world- to know and become one with the worldb) The desire to withdraw, remain unique and separate – an egotistical existence.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
1803-1882-Unitarian Minister-Poet & Essayist- Founded the Transdental Club- Popular lecturer-Banned from Harvard for 40 years following the Divinity School address-Supporter of abolitionism

Henry David Thoreau
1817-1862- Schoolteacher, essayist, poet-Most famous for Walden and Civil Disobedian-Influenced environmental movement-Supporter of abolitionists

Amos Bronson Alcott
1799-1888- Teacher and Writer-Founder of Temple School and Fruitlands-Introduced art, music, PE, nature study, and field trips; banished corporal punishment-Father of Louisa May Alcott

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