Here is the first major-figure anthology of American poetry of the colonial and early national periods, an indispensable volume for both students and scholars of American literature and civilization.
Five major literary figures are spotlighted: Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672), Edward Taylor (1642?"-1729), Timothy Dwight (1752-1817), Philip Freneau (1752-1832), and William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878). An introduction to each chapter summarizes the life of the poet, reviews his or her literary career, describes and evaluates artistic achievement, and places the poet in an intellectual context. The writer's relationship to changing religious, philosophical, political, and cultural patters is established. The contemporary perspective is augmented by the inclusion of an appendix which presents three important poems by other writers: Micheal Wigglesworth's "God's Controversy with New England," Ebenezer Cook's The Sot-Weed Factor, and Joel Barlow's "Hasty Pudding."
Eberwein goes beyond the most popular and familiar works to include those of unrecognized literary merit, presenting a thoroughly unique approach which illuminates the full range of the writers' themes, forms and poetic voices.