Poetry timeline

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Last updated: December 14, 2019
Colonial poetry
1650-1760, New England Puritan settlers were the first poets of the new American colonies.

They focused on preserving morality, Puritan ideals, and biblical truths. Puritan poetry was literary expression of beliefs in traditional rhyme and meter

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Colonial poetry poet
Anne Bradstreet- earliest known poet of the British colonies-1612-1672. She wrote tender tributes to her husband and family life and was highly educated.

The age of reason post colonial
1750-1800, as the colonists drove for independence some subject matter changed but the poetic form remained the same

The age of reason post colonial poets
Phillis Wheatley-1753-1784- young female slave(was later freed) wrote lyric poems focusing on freedom and religious and classical ideas

Romanticism and Transcendentalism
Romanticism values imagination, feeling, and nature over civilization logic and reason. Truth is found in nature and freedom and worth of individual

Romanticism and Transcendentalism poets
William Cullen Bryant,1794-1878, ecstatic poems on the beauty of forests and prairies Ralph Waldo Emerson-1803-1882Henry Wadsworth Longfellow-1807-1882Edgar Allan Poe-1804-1849

Bridge between romanticism and 20th century
Early 1900s

Bridge between romanticism and 20th century poets
Emily Dickinson-1830-1896Walt Whitman-1819-1892

Late 19th to early 20th century.

Modernism was a reaction to WWI and saw radical experimentation in literary form and expression

Modernism poets
Paul Lawrence Dunbar-1872-1906T.S. Eliot-1888-1965Robert Frost-1874-1963

Early 20th century, branch of modernism their poetry was very precise and they cut out any excess words, used vivid pictures to express themselves

Imagism poets
Ezra Pound-1885-1972Edna St. Vincent Millay-1893-1950Wallace Stevens-1879-1955William Carlos Williams-1879-1963

Harlem Renaissance
1920s to mid 1930s, branch of modernism, focuses on the music and art coming from Harlem, New York

Harlem Renaissance Poets
Claude McKay-1890-1948Jean Toomer-1894-1967Countee Cullen-1903-1946Langston Hughes-1906-1967

Confessional poetry
1950s to 1960s, they “confessed” details of their lives

Confessional poetry Poets
Sylvia Plath-1932-1963Robert Lowell-1917-1977Anne Sexton-1928-1974W.

D. Snodgrass-1926-2009

1970s until today, it consists of anything new to poetry, it has not been defined yet

Contemporary Poets

Merwin-1927-presentPhillip Levine-1928-presentBilly Collins-1941-presentNatasha Tretheway-1966-present

What is the Poet Laureate?
A contemporary poet assigned by the government to write poetry for certain events and special occasions. It’s a very high honor.

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