American Romantics

Book Report/Review
Pages 6 (1506 words)
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American romantic poets of the nineteenth century were filled with fresh ideas regarding nature, and man's personality based on innate goodness. Spontaneity, naturalness, and individual viewpoints came to be celebrated as a manifestation of the divine spirit.


Thus, individualism is the common link in the poems of the four poets Bryant, Whitman, Poe and Dickenson. Whereas the poems of the first three were filled with optimism and love for nature, Poe's were filled with conflicts, darkness, loneliness, and negative contexts (Parkes 274).
This essay shall analyze the concept of death and afterlife as depicted in the poems of the American romantic poets. It shall argue that the poets viewed death or 'ceasing to exist here' as a transit-phase, an entry into something beyond, which was eternal and deathless by nature. The essay shall take into account the poems of four American romantic poets, William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878), Edgar Allen Poe (1809-49), Walt Whitman (1819-1892), and Emily Dickinson (1830-86). Quoting appropriate lines from their poems, the essay shall also show that, Poe's verses hold the same ideas as the others, although his negative portrayal of death is in contrast to the positive images of death as depicted by others.
The optimism of Bryant, Whitman, and Dickenson is all too evident their visualization of death too. Though death as a possibility has been considered by Bryant in many of his poems, "Thanatopsis" is probably his most famous poem on death. ...
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