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THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO PRESS
THE BAKER AND TAYLOR COMPANY
THE CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
THE MISSION BOOK COMPANY
SELECTED AND EDITED, WITH ILLUSTRATIVE AND
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND A BIBLIOGRAPHY
WALTER C. BRONSON, Litt. D.
Professor of English Literature, Brown University
This volume of American poems is intended especially for use in schools and colleges, although it is also adapted to the needs of the individual reader who wishes to become acquainted at first hand with the whole field of American poetry. In accordance with this purpose the poetry of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and the minor poetry of the nineteenth century are given some space; for the earlier periods of our poetical development deserve attention, if only for historical reasons, and the lesser poets of the age of Poe, Longfellow, and Lowell have their own significance and charm. More than half the book, however, is reserved for the greater poets of the nineteenth century. The space allotted to individual authors, nevertheless, is not determined wholly by poetical merit. Trumbull, Barlow, and Freneau, for example, are each given more pages than Holmes, not because they are better poets, but because their works are less accessible; indeed, the selections from Colonial and Revolutionary writers have in general been made full enough to meet the needs of most students and readers without resort to other books, while it is assumed that the selections from the greater poets will be supplemented by liberal reading in their complete works. Again, Poe has only one-fourth the space devoted to Longfellow, solely because his poetry is so limited in amount and range that it can be represented adequately in a few pages. A large majority of the selections are complete poems, including “Evangeline,” “Snow-Bound," and "The Vision of Sir Launfal." In some cases it was necessary to print extracts; but the passages chosen are intelligible and interesting by themselves, and those from different parts of a long poem form a connected whole.