Thomas Hardy, OM (2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928) was an English novelist and poet. While his works typically belong to the Naturalism movement, several poems display elements of the previous Romantic and Enlightenment periods of literature, such as his fascination with the supernatural. While he regarded himself primarily as a poet who composed novels mainly for financial gain, he became and continues to be widely regarded for his novels, such as Tess of the d'Urbervilles and Far from the Madding Crowd. The bulk of his fictional works, initially published as serials in magazines, were set in the semi-fictional county of Wessex (based on the Dorchester region where he grew up) and explored tragic characters struggling against their passions and social circumstances. Hardy's poetry, first published in his fifties, has come to be as well regarded as his novels and has had a significant influence over modern English poetry, especially after The Movement poets of the 1950s and 1960s cited Hardy as a major figure. Thomas Hardy was born in Upper Bockhampton, a hamlet in the parish of Stinsford to the east of Dorchester in Dorset, England in 1840. His father Thomas (d.) worked as a stonemason and local builder. His mother Jemima (d.) was well-read. She educated Thomas until he went to his first school at Bockhampton at age eight. For several years he attended Mr. Last's Academy for Young Gentlemen in Dorchester. Here he learned Latin and demonstrated academic potential. However, a family of Hardy's social position lacked the means for a university education, and his formal education ended at the age of sixteen when he became apprenticed to James Hicks, a local architect. Hardy trained as an architect in Dorchester before moving to London in 1862; there he enrolled as a student at King's College, London. He won prizes from the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Architectural Association. Hardy was in charge of the excavation of the graveyard of St Pancras Old Church prior to its destruction when the Midland Railway was extended a new terminus at St Pancras. Hardy never felt at home in London. He was acutely conscious of class divisions and his social inferiority. However, he was interested in social reform and was familiar with the works of John Stuart Mill. He was also introduced to the works of Charles Fourier and Auguste Comte during this period by his Dorset friend, Horace Moule. Five years later, concerned about his health, he returned to Dorset and decided to dedicate himself to writing. In 1870, while on an architectural mission to restore the parish church of St Juliot in Cornwall, Hardy met and fell in love with Emma Lavinia Gifford, whom he married in 1874. Although he later became estranged from his son her death in 1912 had a traumatic effect on him. After her death, Hardy made a trip to Cornwall to revisit places linked with their courtship, and his Poems 1912–13 reflect upon her death. In 1914, Hardy married his secretary Florence Emily Dugdale, who was 39 years his junior. However, he remained preoccupied with his first wife's death and tried to overcome his remorse by writing poetry. Hardy became ill with pleurisy in December 1927 and died at Max Gate just after 9 pm on 11 January 1928, having dictated his final poem to his wife on his deathbed; the cause of death was cited, on his death certificate, as "cardiac syncope", with "old age" given as a contributory factor. His funeral was on 16 January at Westminster Abbey, and it proved a controversial occasion because Hardy and his family and friends had wished for his body to be interred at Stinsford in the same grave as his first wife, Emma. However, his executor, Sir Sydney Carlyle Cockerell, insisted that he be placed in the abbey's famous Poets' Corner. A compromise was reached whereby his heart was buried at Stinsford with Emma, and his ashes in Poets' Corner. Shortly after Hardy's death, the executors of his estate burnt his letters and notebooks. Twelve records survived, one of them containing notes and extracts of newspaper stories from the 1820s. Research into these provided insight into how Hardy kept track of them and how he used them in his later work. In the year of his death Mrs Hardy published The Early Life of Thomas Hardy, 1841–1891: compiled largely from contemporary notes, letters, diaries, and biographical memoranda, as well as from oral information in conversations extending over many years. Hardy's work was admired by many writers of a younger generation including D. H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf. In his autobiography Goodbye to All That, Robert Graves recalls meeting Hardy in Dorset in the early 1920s. Hardy received him and his new wife warmly, and was encouraging about his work. In 1910, Hardy was awarded the Order of Merit. Hardy's cottage at Bockhampton and Max Gate in Dorchester are owned by the National Trust. Novels Hardy's first novel, The Poor Man and the Lady, finished by 1867, failed to find a publisher and Hardy destroyed the manuscript so only parts of the novel remain. He was encouraged to try again by his mentor and friend, Victorian poet and novelist George Meredith. Desperate Remedies (1871) and Under the Greenwood Tree (1872) were published anonymously. In 1873 A Pair of Blue Eyes, a novel drawing on Hardy's courtship of his first wife, was not published under his own name. The term "cliffhanger" is considered to have originated with the serialised version of this story (which was published in Tinsley's Magazine between September 1872 and July 1873) in which Henry Knight, one of the protagonists, is left literally hanging off a cliff. Hardy said that he first introduced Wessex in Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), his next novel. It was successful enough for Hardy to give up architectural work and pursue a literary career. Over the next twenty-five years Hardy produced ten more novels. The Hardys moved from London to Yeovil and then to Sturminster Newton, where he wrote The Return of the Native (1878). In 1885, they moved for the last time, to Max Gate, a house outside Dorchester designed by Hardy and built by his brother. There he wrote The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), The Woodlanders (1887), and Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891), the last of which attracted criticism for its sympathetic portrayal of a "fallen woman" and was initially refused publication. Its subtitle, A Pure Woman: Faithfully Presented, was intended to raise the eyebrows of the Victorian middle-classes. Jude the Obscure, published in 1895, met with even stronger negative outcries from the Victorian public for its frank treatment of sex, and was often referred to as "Jude the Obscene". Heavily criticised for its apparent attack on the institution of marriage through the presentation of such concepts as erotolepsy, the book caused further strain on Hardy's already difficult marriage because Emma Hardy was concerned that Jude the Obscure would be read as autobiographical. Some booksellers sold the novel in brown paper bags, and the Bishop of Wakefield is reputed to have burnt his copy. In his postscript of 1912, Hardy humorously referred to this incident as part of the career of the book: "After these [hostile] verdicts from the press its next misfortune was to be burnt by a bishop – probably in his despair at not being able to burn me”. Despite this criticism, Hardy had become a celebrity in English literature by the 1900s, with several highly successful novels behind him. Even so, he felt disgust at the public reception of two of his greatest works and gave up writing fiction altogether. Other novels written by Hardy include Two on a Tower, a romance story set in the world of astronomy. With some notable exceptions, for example Tess of the D'Urbervilles which was produceed the 1979 Polanski film Tess, and unlike the novels of Charles Dickens and George Eliot, Hardy's novels do not beg to be filmed or to be adapted for the stage. Some scholars have suggested that this is due to the absence of a flair in Hardy for the overtly dramatic. Literary themes Hardy criticises certain social constraints that hindered the lives of those living in the 19th century. Considered a Victorian Realist writer, Hardy examines the social constraints that are part of the Victorian status quo, suggesting these rules hinder the lives of all involved and ultimately lead to unhappiness. In Two on a Tower, Hardy seeks to take a stand against these rules and sets up a story against the backdrop of social structure by creating a story of love that crosses the boundaries of class. The reader is forced to consider disposing of the conventions set up for love. Nineteenth-century society enforces these conventions, and societal pressure ensures conformity. Swithin St Cleeve's idealism pits him against contemporary social constraints. He is a self-willed individual set up against the coercive strictures of social rules and mores. In a novel structured around contrasts, the main opposition is between Swithin St Cleeve and Lady Viviette Constantine, who are presented as binary figures in a series of ways: aristocratic and lower class, youthful and mature, single and married, fair and dark, religious and agnostic…she [Lady Viviette Constantine] is also deeply conventional, absurdly wishing to conceal their marriage until Swithin has achieved social status through his scientific work, which gives rise to uncontrolled ironies and tragic-comic misunderstandings (Harvey 108). Hardy’s characters often encounter crossroads, which are symbolic of a point of opportunity and transition. But the hand of fate is an important part of many of Hardy's plots. Far From the Madding Crowd tells a tale of lives that are constructed by chance. “Had Bathsheba not sent the valentine, had Fanny not missed her wedding, for example, the story would have taken an entirely different path.” Hardy's main characters often seem to be in the overwhelming and overpowering grip of fate. Poetry In 1898 Hardy published his first volume of poetry, Wessex Poems, a collection of poems written over 30 years. Hardy claimed poetry as his first love, and after a great amount of negative criticism erupted from the publication of his novel Jude The Obscure, Hardy decided to give up writing novels permanently and to focus his literary efforts on writing poetry. After giving up the novel form, Hardy continued to publish poetry collections until his death in 1928. Although he did publish one last novel in 1897, that novel, The Well-Beloved, had actually been written prior to Jude the Obscure. Although his poems were not initially as well received by his contemporaries as his novels were, Hardy is now recognised as one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century. His verse had a profound influence on later writers, notably Philip Larkin, who included many of Hardy's poems in the edition of the Oxford Book of Twentieth Century English Verse that Larkin edited in 1973. In a recent biography on Hardy, Claire Tomalin argues that Hardy became a truly great English poet after the death of his first wife, Emma, beginning with the elegies he wrote in her memory, calling these poems, "one of the finest and strangest celebrations of the dead in English poetry." Most of Hardy's poems, such as "Neutral Tones'" and "A Broken Appointment", deal with themes of disappointment in love and life (which were also prominent themes in his novels), and mankind's long struggle against indifference to human suffering. Using stylistic patterns similar to those that he used in his novels, Hardy sometimes wrote ironic poems, like "Ah, Are You Digging On My Grave," in which he employed twist endings in the last few lines or in the last stanza to convey that irony. Some, like "The Darkling Thrush" and "An August Midnight", appear as poems about writing poetry, because the nature mentioned in them gives Hardy the inspiration to write. His compositions range in style from the three-volume epic closet drama The Dynasts to shorter poems such as "A Broken Appointment." A particularly strong theme in the Wessex Poems is the long shadow that the Napoleonic Wars cast over the nineteenth century, for example, in "The Sergeant's Song" and "Leipzig". A few of Hardy's poems, such as "The Blinded Bird" (a melancholy polemic against the sport of vinkenzetting), display his love of the natural world and his firm stance against animal cruelty, exhibited in his antivivisectionist views and his membership in the RSPCA. A number of notable composers, including Gerald Finzi, Benjamin Britten, and Gustav Holst, have set poems by Hardy to music. Religious beliefs Hardy's family was Anglican, but not especially devout. He was baptised at the age of five weeks and attended church, where his father and uncle contributed to music. However, he did not attend the local Church of England school, instead being sent to Mr Last's school, three miles away. As a young adult, he befriended Henry R. Bastow (a Plymouth Brethren man), who also worked as a pupil architect, and who was preparing for adult baptism in the Baptist Church. Hardy flirted with conversion, but decided against it. Bastow went to Australia and maintained a long correspondence with Hardy, but eventually Hardy tired of these exchanges and the correspondence ceased. This concluded Hardy's links with the Baptists. Although Hardy’s faith remained intact, the irony and struggles of life led him to question the traditional Christian view of God: The Christian god – the external personality – has been replaced by the intelligence of the First Cause…the replacement of the old concept of God as all-powerful by a new concept of universal consciousness. The 'tribal god, man-shaped, fiery-faced and tyrannous' is replaced by the 'unconscious will of the Universe' which progressively grows aware of itself and 'ultimately, it is to be hoped, sympathetic'. Hardy's religious life seems to have mixed agnosticism, deism, and spiritism. Once, when asked in correspondence by a clergyman about the question of reconciling the horrors of pain with the goodness of a loving God, Hardy replied, Mr. Hardy regrets that he is unable to offer any hypothesis which would reconcile the existence of such evils as Dr. Grosart describes with the idea of omnipotent goodness. Perhaps Dr. Grosart might be helped to a provisional view of the universe by the recently published Life of Darwin and the works of Herbert Spencer and other agnostics. Nevertheless, Hardy frequently conceived of and wrote about supernatural forces that control the universe, more through indifference or caprice than any firm will. Also, Hardy showed in his writing some degree of fascination with ghosts and spirits. Despite these sentiments, Hardy retained a strong emotional attachment to the Christian liturgy and church rituals, particularly as manifested in rural communities, that had been such a formative influence in his early years, and Biblical references can be found woven throughout many of Hardy's novels. Hardy's friends during his apprenticeship to John Hicks included Horace Moule (one of the eight sons of Henry Moule), and the poet William Barnes, both ministers of religion. Moule remained a close friend of Hardy's for the rest of his life, and introduced him to new scientific findings that cast doubt on literal interpretations of the Bible, such as those of Gideon Mantell. Moule gave Hardy a copy of Mantell's book The Wonders of Geology (1848) in 1858, and Adelene Buckland has suggested that there are "compelling similarities" between the "cliffhanger" section from A Pair of Blue Eyes and Mantell's geological descriptions. It has also been suggested that the character of Henry Knight in A Pair of Blue Eyes was based on Horace Moule. Locations in novels Berkshire is North Wessex, Devon is Lower Wessex, Dorset is South Wessex, Somerset is Outer or Nether Wessex, Wiltshire is Mid-Wessex, Bere Regis is King's-Bere of Tess, Bincombe Down cross roads is the scene of the military execution in A Melancholy Hussar. It is a true story, the deserters from the German Legion were shot in 1801 and are recorded in the parish register. Bindon Abbey is where Clare carried her. Bournemouth is Sandbourne of Hand of Ethelberta and Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Bridport is Port Bredy, Charborough House and its folly tower is the model for Welland House in the novel Two on a Tower. Corfe Castle is the Corvsgate-Castle of Hand of Ethelberta. Cranborne Chase is The Chase scene of Tess's seduction. (Note – Bowerchalke on Cranborne Chase was the film location for the great fire in John Schlesinger's 1967 film Far from the Madding Crowd.) Milborne St Andrew is "Millpond St Judes" in Far From the Madding Crowd. Charborough House is located between Sturminster Marshall and Bere Regis. Charborough House and its folly tower is the model for Welland House in the novel Two on a Tower by Thomas Hardy. Little England Cottage, Milborne St Andrew being the location of Swithin St Cleeves home and remains as described to this day. Dorchester, Dorset is Casterbridge, the scene of Mayor of Casterbridge. Dunster Castle in Somerset is Castle De Stancy of A Laodicean. Fordington moor is Durnover moor and fields. Greenhill Fair near Bere Regis is Woodbury Hill Fair, Lulworth Cove is Lulstead Cove, Marnhull is Marlott of Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Melbury House near Evershot is Great Hintock Court in A Group of Noble Dames. Minterne is Little Hintock, Owermoigne is Nether Moynton in Wessex Tales. Piddlehinton and Piddle Trenthide are the Longpuddle of A Few Crusted Characters. Puddletown Heath, Moreton Heath, Tincleton Heath and Bere Heath are Egdon Heath. Poole is Havenpool in Life's Little Ironies. Portland is the scene of The Pursuit of the Well-Beloved. Puddletown is Weatherbury in Far from the Madding Crowd, River Frome valley is the scene of Talbothays dairy in Tess. Salisbury is Melchester in On the Western Circuit, Life's Little Ironies and Jude the Obscure etc. Shaftesbury is Shaston in Tess of the d'Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure. Sherborne is Sherton-Abbas, Sherborne Castle is home of Lady Baxby in A Group of Noble Dames. Stonehenge is the scene of Tess's apprehension. Sutton Poyntz is Overcombe. Swanage is the Knollsea of Hand of Ethelberta. Taunton is known as Toneborough in both Hardy's novels and poems. Wantage is Alfredston, of Jude the Obscure. Fawley, Berkshire is Marygreen of Jude the Obscure. Weyhill is Weydon Priors, Weymouth is Budmouth Regis, the scene of Trumpet Major & portions of other novels; Winchester is Wintoncester where Tess was executed. Wimborne is Warborne of Two on a Tower. Wolfeton House, near Dorchester is the scene of The Lady Penelope in a Group of Noble Dames. Woolbridge Manor House, close to Wool station, is the scene of Tess's confession and honeymoon. Influence Hardy provides the springboard for D. H. Lawrence's Study of Thomas Hardy (1936). Though this work became a platform for Lawrence's own developing philosophy rather than a more standard literary study, the influence of Hardy's treatment of character and Lawrence's own response to the central metaphysic behind many of Hardy's novels helped significantly in the development of The Rainbow (1915, suppressed) and Women in Love (1920, private publication). Hardy was clearly the starting point for the character of the novelist Edward Driffield in W Somerset Maugham's novel Cakes and Ale. Thomas Hardy's works feature prominently in the narrative in Christopher Durang's The Marriage of Bette and Boo, in which a graduate thesis analysing Tess of the d'Urbervilles is interspersed with analysis of Matt's family's neuroses. Works Prose Hardy divided his novels and collected short stories into three classes: Novels of Character and Environment The Poor Man and the Lady (1867, unpublished and lost) Under the Greenwood Tree (1872) Far from the Madding Crowd (1874) The Return of the Native (1878) The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886) The Woodlanders (1887) Wessex Tales (1888, a collection of short stories) Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891) Life's Little Ironies (1894, a collection of short stories) Jude the Obscure (1895) Romances and Fantasies A Pair of Blue Eyes (1873) The Trumpet-Major (1880) Two on a Tower (1882) A Group of Noble Dames (1891, a collection of short stories) The Well-Beloved (1897) (first published as a serial from 1892) Novels of Ingenuity Desperate Remedies (1871) The Hand of Ethelberta (1876) A Laodicean (1881) Hardy also produced a number of minor tales and a collaborative novel, The Spectre of the Real (1894). An additional short-story collection, beyond the ones mentioned above, is A Changed Man and Other Tales (1913). His works have been collected as the 24-volume Wessex Edition (1912–13) and the 37-volume Mellstock Edition (1919–20). His largely self-written biography appears under his second wife's name in two volumes from 1928–30, as The Early Life of Thomas Hardy, 1840–91 and The Later Years of Thomas Hardy, 1892–1928, now published in a critical one-volume edition as The Life and Work of Thomas Hardy, edited by Michael Millgate (1984). Short stories "How I Built Myself A House" (1865) "Destiny and a Blue Cloak" (1874) "The Thieves Who Couldn't Stop Sneezing" (1877) "The Duchess of Hamptonshire" (1878) "The Distracted Preacher" (1879) "Fellow-Townsmen" (1880) "The Honourable Laura" (1881) "What The Shepherd Saw" (1881) "A Tradition of Eighteen Hundred and Four" (1882) "The Three Strangers" (1883) "The Romantic Adventures Of A Milkmaid" (1883) "Interlopers At The Knap" (1884) "A Mere Interlude" (1885) "A Tryst At An Ancient Earthwork" (1885) "Alicia's Diary" (1887) "The Waiting Supper" (1887–88) "The Withered Arm" (1888) "A Tragedy Of Two Ambitions" (1888) "The First Countess of Wessex" (1889) "Anna, Lady Baxby" (1890) "The Lady Icenway" (1890) "Lady Mottisfont" (1890) "The Lady Penelope" (1890) "The Marchioness of Stonehenge" (1890) "Squire Petrick's Lady" (1890) "Barbara of the House of Grebe" (1890) "The Melancholy Hussar of The German Legion" (1890) "Absent-Mindedness in a Parish Choir" (1891) "The Winters And The Palmleys" (1891) "For Conscience' Sake" (1891) "Incident in Mr. Crookhill's Life"(1891) "The Doctor's Legend" (1891) "Andrey Satchel and the Parson and Clerk" (1891) "The History of the Hardcomes" (1891) "Netty Sargent's Copyhold" (1891) "On The Western Circuit" (1891) "A Few Crusted Characters: Introduction" (1891) "The Superstitious Man's Story" (1891) "Tony Kytes, the Arch-Deceiver" (1891) "To Please His Wife" (1891) "The Son's Veto" (1891) "Old Andrey's Experience as a Musician" (1891) "Our Exploits At West Poley" (1892–93) "Master John Horseleigh, Knight" (1893) "The Fiddler of the Reels" (1893) "An Imaginative Woman" (1894) "The Spectre of the Real" (1894) "A Committee-Man of 'The Terror'" (1896) "The Duke's Reappearance" (1896) "The Grave By The Handpost" (1897) "A Changed Man" (1900) "Enter a Dragoon" (1900) "Blue Jimmy: The Horse Stealer" (1911) "Old Mrs. Chundle" (1929) "The Unconquerable"(1992) Poetry collections The Photograph (1890) Wessex Poems and Other Verses (1898) Poems of the Past and Present (1901) The Man He Killed (1902) Time's Laughingstocks and Other Verses (1909) The Voice (1912) Satires of Circumstance (1914) Moments of Vision (1917) Collected Poems (1919) Late Lyrics and Earlier with Many Other Verses (1923) Human Shows, Far Phantasies, Songs and Trifles (1925) Winter Words in Various Moods and Metres (1928) The Complete Poems (Macmillan, 1976) Selected Poems (Edited by Harry Thomas, Penguin, 1993) Hardy: Poems (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets, 1995) Thomas Hardy: Selected Poetry and Nonfictional Prose (St. Martin's Press, 1996) Selected Poems (Edited by Robert Mezey, Penguin, 1998) Thomas Hardy: The Complete Poems (Edited by James Gibson, Palgrave, 2001) Drama The Dynasts (verse drama) The Dynasts, Part 1 (1904) The Dynasts, Part 2 (1906) The Dynasts, Part 3 (1908) The Famous Tragedy of the Queen of Cornwall at Tintagel in Lyonnesse (1923) (one-act play) References Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Hardy
Seamus Heaney was born on April 13, 1939, in Castledawson, County Derry, Northern Ireland. He earned a teacher's certificate in English at St. Joseph's College in Belfast and in 1963 took a position as a lecturer in English at that school. While at St. Joseph's he began to write, joining a poetry workshop with Derek Mahon, Michael Longley, and others under the guidance of Philip Hobsbaum. In 1965 he married Marie Devlin, and the following year he published Death of a Naturalist. Since then he has published hundreds more, in such collections as Human Chain (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010), District and Circle (Faber and Faber, 2006), Opened Ground (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1999), which was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; The Spirit Level (1996); Selected Poems 1966-1987 (1990); and Sweeney Astray (1984). He has also written several volumes of criticism, including The Redress of Poetry (1995). Heaney's most recent translation is Beowulf (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2000), which won the Whitbread Book of the Year Award. He is also co-translator, with Stanislaw Baranczak, of Laments: Poems of Jan Kochanowski (1995), and co-author, with Joseph Brodsky and Derek Walcott, of a collection of essays entitled Homage to Robert Frost (1996). In June of 2012, Heaney was awarded the Lifetime Recognition Award from the Griffin Trust For Excellence He is also a Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and held the chair of Professor of Poetry at Oxford from 1989 to 1994. In 1995 he received the Nobel Prize in Literature. Heaney has been a resident of Dublin since 1976, but since 1981 he has spent part of each year teaching at Harvard University, where in 1984 he was elected the Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory. Seamus Heaney passed away in Dublin, Ireland, on August 30, 2013. He was 74. Poetry Death of a Naturalist (1966) Door into the Dark (1969) Field Work (1979) New Selected Poems, 1966-1987 (1990) North (1975) Poems 1965-1975 (1980) Seeing Things (1991) Station Island (1984) Sweeney Astray: A Version From the Irish (1983) The Haw Lantern (1987) The Midnight Verdict (1993) The Spirit Level (1996) Wintering Out (1972) District and Circle (2006) Human Chain (2010) Prose Crediting Poetry: The Nobel Lecture (1996) Homage to Robert Frost, with Joseph Brodsky and Derek Walcott (1996) Preoccupations: Selected Prose, 1968-1978 (1980) The Fire i' the Flint: Reflections on the Poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins (1975) The Government of the Tongue: Selected Prose 1978-1987 (1988) The Place of Writing (1989) The Redress of Poetry: Oxford Lectures (1995) Anthology Beowulf (2000) Laments (1995) Drama The Cure at Troy: A Version of Sophocles' Philoctetes (1991) References Poets.org - www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/211
Edward James (Ted) Hughes was born in Mytholmroyd, in the West Riding district of Yorkshire, on August 17, 1930. His childhood was quiet and dominately rural. When he was seven years old his family moved to the small town of Mexborough in South Yorkshire, and the landscape of the moors of that area informed his poetry throughout his life. After high school, Hughes entered the Royal Air Force and served for two years as a ground wireless mechanic. He then moved to Cambridge to attend Pembroke College on an academic scholarship. While in college he published a few poems, majored in Anthropolgy and Archaeology, and studied mythologies extensively. Hughes graduated from Cambridge in 1954. A few years later, in 1956, he co-founded the literary magazine St. Botolph’s Review with a handful of other editors. At the launch party for the magazine, he met Sylvia Plath. A few short months later, on June 16, 1956, they were married. Plath encouraged Hughes to submit his first manuscript, The Hawk in the Rain, to The Poetry Center's First Publication book contest. The judges, Marianne Moore, W. H. Auden, and Stephen Spender, awarded the manuscript first prize, and it was published in England and America in 1957, to much critical praise. Hughes lived in Massachusetts with Plath and taught at University of Massachusetts Amherst. They returned to England in 1959, and their first child, Freida was born the following year. Their second child, Nicholas, was born two years later. In 1962, Hughes left Plath for Assia Gutmann Wevill. Less than a year later, Plath committed suicide. Hughes did not write again for years, as he focused all of his energy on editing and promoting Plath’s poems. He was also roundly lambasted by the public, who saw him as responsible for his wife’s suicide. Controversy surrounded his editorial choices regarding Plath’s poems and journals. In 1965, Wevill gave birth to their only child, Shura. Four years later, like Plath, she also commited suicide, killing Shura as well. The following year, in 1970, Hughes married Carol Orchard, with whom he remained married until his death. Hughes’s lengthy career included over a dozen books of poetry, translations, non-fiction and children’s books, such as the famous The Iron Man (1968). His books of poems include: Wolfwatching (1990), Flowers and Insects (1986), Selected Poems 1957-1981 (1982), Moortown (1980), Cave Birds (1979), Crow (1971), and Lupercal (1960). His final collection, The Birthday Letters (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1998), published the year of his death, documented his relationship with Plath. Hughes's work is marked by a mythical framework, using the lyric and dramatic monologue to illustrate intense subject matter. Animals appear frequently throughout his work as deity, metaphor, persona, and icon. Perhaps the most famous of his subjects is "Crow," an amalgam of god, bird and man, whose existence seems pivotal to the knowledge of good and evil. Hughes won many of Europe’s highest literary honors, and was appointed Poet Laureate of England in 1984, a post he held until his death. He passed away in October 28, 1998 in Devonshire, England, from cancer. Poetry The Hawk in the Rain (1957) Pike (1959) Lupercal (1960) Crow (1971) Cave Birds (1979) Moortown (1980) Selected Poems 1957-1981 (1982) Flowers and Insects (1986) Wolfwatching (1990) The Birthday Letters (1998) References Poets.org - poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/113
Felicia Dorothea Hemans (25 September 1793– 16 May 1835) was an English poet. Ancestry Felicia Heman’s paternal grandfather was George Browne of Passage, County Cork, Ireland; her maternal grandparents were Benedict Paul Wagner (1718–1806), wine importer at 9 Wolstenholme Square, Liverpool, Lancashire, and Elizabeth Haydock Wagner (d. 1814) of Lancashire. Family legend gave the Wagners a Venetian origin; family heraldry an Austrian one. The Wagners’ country address was North Hall near Wigan; they sent two sons to Eton College. Of three daughters, only Felicity married; her husband George Browne joined his father-in-law’s business and succeeded him as Tuscan and imperial consul in Liverpool. Early life and works Felicia Dorothea Browne was the fourth of six Browne children (three boys and three girls) to survive infancy. Of her two sisters, Elizabeth died about 1807 at the age of eighteen and Harriett Mary Browne (1798–1858) married first the Revd T. Hughes, then the Revd W. Hicks Owen. Harriett collaborated musically with Felicia and later edited her complete works (7 vols. with memoir, 1839). Her eldest brother, Lt-Gen. Sir Thomas Henry Browne KCH (1787–1855), had a distinguished career in the army; her second brother, George Baxter CB, served in the Royal Welch Fusiliers 23rd Foot, and became a magistrate at Kilkenny in 1830 and Chief Commissioner of Police in Ireland in 1831; and her third brother, Claude Scott Browne (1795–1821), became Deputy Assistant Commissary-General in Upper Canada. Felicia was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, a granddaughter of the Venetian consul in that city. Her father’s business soon brought the family to Denbighshire in North Wales, where she spent her youth. They made their home at Gwrych near Abergele and later at Bronwylfa, St. Asaph (Flintshire), and it is clear that she came to regard herself as Welsh by adoption, later referring to Wales as “Land of my childhood, my home and my dead”. Her first poems, dedicated to the Prince of Wales, were published in Liverpool in 1808, when she was only fourteen, arousing the interest of no less a person than Percy Bysshe Shelley, who briefly corresponded with her. She quickly followed them up with “England and Spain”  and “The domestic affections”, published in 1812, the year of her marriage to Captain Alfred Hemans, an Irish army officer some years older than herself. The marriage took her away from Wales, to Daventry in Northamptonshire until 1814. During their first six years of marriage, Felicia gave birth to five sons, including Charles Isidore Hemans, and then the couple separated. Marriage had not, however, prevented her from continuing her literary career, with several volumes of poetry being published by the respected firm of John Murray in the period after 1816, beginning with “The Restoration of the Works of Art to Italy” (1816) and “Modern Greece” (1817). “Tales and Historic Scenes” was the collection which came out in 1819, the year of their separation. Later life From 1831 onwards, she lived in Dublin, where her younger brother had settled, and her poetic output continued. Her major collections, including The Forest Sanctuary (1825), Records of Woman and Songs of the Affections (1830) were immensely popular, especially with female readers. Her last books, sacred and profane, are the substantive Scenes and Hymns of Life and National Lyrics, and Songs for Music. She was by now a well-known literary figure, highly regarded by contemporaries such as Wordsworth, and with a popular following in the United States and the United Kingdom. When she died of dropsy, Wordsworth and Walter Savage Landor composed memorial verses in her honour. She is buried in St. Ann’s Church, Dawson Street. Legacy Felicia Hemans’ works appeared in nineteen individual books during her lifetime. After her death in 1835 they were republished widely, usually as collections of individual lyrics and not the longer, annotated works and integrated series that made up her books. For surviving women poets, like Britons Caroline Norton and Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Americans Lydia Sigourney and Frances Harper, the French Amable Tastu and German Annette von Droste-Hülshoff and others, she was a valued model, or (for Elizabeth Barrett Browning) a troubling predecessor; and for male poets including Tennyson and Longfellow, an influence less acknowledged. To many readers she offered a woman’s voice confiding a woman’s trials; to others a lyricism apparently consonant with Victorian chauvinism and sentimentality. Among the works she valued most were the unfinished “Superstition and Revelation” and the pamphlet “The Sceptic,” which sought an Anglicanism more attuned to world religions and women’s experiences. In her most successful book, “Records of Woman” (1828), she chronicles the lives of women, both famous and anonymous. Hemans’ poem The Homes of England (1827) is the origin of the phrase stately home in English. The first line of the poem runs, “The stately Homes of England”. Despite her illustrious admirers, her stature as a serious poet gradually declined, partly due to her success in the literary marketplace. Her poetry was considered morally exemplary, and was often assigned to schoolchildren; as a result, Hemans came to be seen a poet for children rather than taken seriously on the basis of her entire body of work. A jocular reference by Saki in The Toys of Peace suggests simultaneously that she was a household word and that Saki did not take her seriously. Schoolchildren in the U.S. were still being taught The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers in New England ("The breaking waves dashed high/On a stern and rock-bound coast...") in the middle of the 20th century. But by the 21st century, The Stately Homes of England refers to Noël Coward’s parody, not to the once-famous poem it parodied, and Felicia Hemans was remembered popularly for her poem, “Casabianca”. However, Hemans’ critical reputation has been re-examined in recent years. Her work has resumed a role in standard anthologies and in classrooms and seminars and literary studies, especially in the U.S. It is likely that further poems will be familiar to new readers, such as “The Image in Lava,” “Evening Prayer at a Girls’ School,” “I Dream of All Things Free,” “Night-Blowing Flowers,” “Properzia Rossi,” “A Spirit’s Return,” “The Bride of the Greek Isle,” “The Wife of Asdrubal,” “The Widow of Crescentius,” “The Last Song of Sappho,” and “Corinne at the Capitol.” Casabianca First published in August 1826 the poem Casabianca (also known as The Boy stood on the Burning Deck) by Felicia Hemans depicts Captain Louis de Casabianca and his 12-year-old son, Giocante, who both perished aboard the ship Orient during the Battle of the Nile. The poem was very popular from the 1850s on and was memorized in elementary schools for literary practice. Other poetic figures such as Elizabeth Bishop and Samuel Butler allude to the poem in their own works. “Speak, father!' once again he cried, 'If I may yet be gone!” And but the booming shots replied, and fast the flames rolled on. The poem is sung in ballad form (abab) and consists of a boy asking his father whether he had fulfilled his duties, as the ship continues to burn after the magazine catches fire. Martin Gardner and Michael R. Turner made modern day parodies that were much more upbeat and consisted of boys stuffing their faces with peanuts and breads. This contrasted sharply with the solemn image created in Casabianca as Hemans wrote it. England and Spain, or, Valour and Patriotism Her second book, England and Spain, or, Valour and Patriotism, was published in 1808 and was a narrative poem honouring her brother and his military service in the Peninsular War. The poem called for an end of the tyranny of Napoleon Bonaparte and for a long lasting peace after the war. The poem is very patriotic towards Great Britain as seen in Heman’s multiple references to “Albion” which is an older name for the isles of Great Britain. “For this thy noble sons have spread alarms, and bade the zones resound with BRITAIN’s arms!” It is seen throughout this poem that Felicia Hemans is alarmed with the thought of war but her overall pride of nationality overcome this fear. She saw all of the fighting as useless bloodshed and a waste of human life. “England and Spain” was used by her to spread her message across Europe, that the wars were senseless and that peace should resume. Female suicide in Hemans’ works In many of Hemans’ works, a choice is made by several female characters to take their own lives rather than suffer the social, political and personal consequences of their compromised situations. The social context in which Hemans was writing was not largely conducive to the writing of women, as many modern readers might assume according to the poet’s success. Instead, women writers were often torn between a choice of home or the pursuit of a literary career. Hemans herself was able to balance both roles without much public ridicule, but left hints of discontent through the themes of feminine death in her writing. The suicides of women in Hemans’ poetry dwell on the same social issue that was confronted both culturally and personally during Hemans’ life: the choice of caged domestication or freedom of thought and expression. ‘The Bride of the Greek Isle’, 'The Sicilian Captive’, 'The Last Song of Sappho’ and 'Indian Woman’s Death Song’ are some of the most notable of Hemans’ works involving women’s suicides. Each poem portrays a heroine who is untimely torn from her home by a masculine force– such as pirates, Vikings and unrequited lovers– and forced to make the decision to accept her new confines or command control over the situation. None of the heroines are complacent with the tragedies that befall them, and the women ultimately take their own lives in either a final grasp for power and expression or means to escape victimisation. The true reasons for the recurring femicide in Hemans’ poetry collections can only be found in readers’ personal interpretations, giving speculation to Hemans’ life and cultural context. Selected works * “On the Restoration of the Works of Art to Italy” * Hymns on the Works of Nature, for the Use of Children * Records of Woman: With Other Poems * “The Better Land” * “Casabianca” * “Corinne at the Capitol” * “Evening Prayer at a Girls’ School” * “A Farewell to Abbotsford” * “The Funeral Day of Sir Walter Scott” * “Hymn by the Sick-bed of a Mother” * “Kindred Hearts” * “The Last Song of Sappho” * “Lines Written in the Memoirs of Elizabeth Smith” * “The Rock of Cader Idris” * “Stanzas on the Late National Calamity, The Death of the Princess Charlotte” * “Stanzas to the Memory of George III” * “Thoughts During Sickness: Intellectual Powers” * “To the Eye” * “To the New-Born” * “Woman on the Field of Battle” Further reading * “Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature,” 3rd ed., 4: 351–60 (2000) * “Oxford Dictionary of National Biography,” 26: 274–77 (2004) * “Felicia Hemans: Selected Poems, Letters, Reception Materials,” ed. Susan J. Wolfson (2000) * “Felicia Hemans: Selected Poems, Prose, and Letters,” ed. Gary Kelly (2002) * Emma Mason, “Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century” (2006) * “Felicia Hemans: Reimagining Poetry in the Nineteenth Century,” ed. Nanora Sweet & Julie Melnyk (2001) * Paula Feldman, “The Poet and the Profits: Felicia Hemans and the Literary Marketplace,” “Keats-Shelley Journal” 46 (1996): 148–76 * Peter W. Trinder, “Mrs Hemans,” U Wales Press (1984) References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felicia_Hemans
I live and I write...... My life is a canvas and I have arranged the qualities of myself so perfectly as to contradict angelic purity and blasphemy in such a way that it is irresistible to all lovers, and all tragic romantics, all of those with open hearts to warm themselves. So warm your hearts in the oh so soothing sometimes painful flame that exhumes from me. It has laid in my body as a coffin for to many centuries, its about time i let it out now.
William Sydney Porter (September 11, 1862– June 5, 1910), known by his pen name O. Henry, was an American short story writer. His stories are known for their surprise endings. Biography Early life William Sidney Porter was born on September 11, 1862, in Greensboro, North Carolina. He changed the spelling of his middle name to Sydney in 1898. His parents were Dr. Algernon Sidney Porter (1825–88), a physician, and Mary Jane Virginia Swaim Porter (1833–65). William’s parents had married on April 20, 1858. When William was three, his mother died from tuberculosis, and he and his father moved into the home of his paternal grandmother. As a child, Porter was always reading, everything from classics to dime novels; his favorite works were Lane’s translation of One Thousand and One Nights and Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy. Porter graduated from his aunt Evelina Maria Porter’s elementary school in 1876. He then enrolled at the Lindsey Street High School. His aunt continued to tutor him until he was fifteen. In 1879, he started working in his uncle’s drugstore in Greensboro, and on August 30, 1881, at the age of nineteen, Porter was licensed as a pharmacist. At the drugstore, he also showed off his natural artistic talents by sketching the townsfolk. Move to Texas Porter traveled with Dr. James K. Hall to Texas in March 1882, hoping that a change of air would help alleviate a persistent cough he had developed. He took up residence on the sheep ranch of Richard Hall, James’ son, in La Salle County and helped out as a shepherd, ranch hand, cook, and baby-sitter. While on the ranch, he learned bits of Spanish and German from the mix of immigrant ranch hands. He also spent time reading classic literature. Porter’s health did improve. He traveled with Richard to Austin in 1884, where he decided to remain and was welcomed into the home of Richard’s friends, Joseph Harrell and his wife. Porter resided with the Harrells for three years. He went to work briefly for the Morley Brothers Drug Company as a pharmacist. Porter then moved on to work for the Harrell Cigar Store located in the Driskill Hotel. He also began writing as a sideline and wrote many of his early stories in the Harrell house. As a young bachelor, Porter led an active social life in Austin. He was known for his wit, story-telling and musical talents. He played both the guitar and mandolin. He sang in the choir at St. David’s Episcopal Church and became a member of the “Hill City Quartette”, a group of young men who sang at gatherings and serenaded young women of the town. Porter met and began courting Athol Estes, then seventeen years old and from a wealthy family. Historians believe Porter met Athol at the laying of the cornerstone of the Texas State Capitol on March 2, 1885. Her mother objected to the match because Athol was ill, suffering from tuberculosis. On July 1, 1887, Porter eloped with Athol and were married in the parlor of the home of Reverend R. K. Smoot, pastor of the Central Presbyterian Church, where the Estes family attended church. The couple continued to participate in musical and theater groups, and Athol encouraged her husband to pursue his writing. Athol gave birth to a son in 1888, who died hours after birth, and then a daughter, Margaret Worth Porter, in September 1889. Porter’s friend Richard Hall became Texas Land Commissioner and offered Porter a job. Porter started as a draftsman at the Texas General Land Office (GLO) on January 12, 1887 at a salary of $100 a month, drawing maps from surveys and fieldnotes. The salary was enough to support his family, but he continued his contributions to magazines and newspapers. In the GLO building, he began developing characters and plots for such stories as “Georgia’s Ruling” (1900), and “Buried Treasure” (1908). The castle-like building he worked in was even woven into some of his tales such as "Bexar Scrip No. 2692" (1894). His job at the GLO was a political appointment by Hall. Hall ran for governor in the election of 1890 but lost. Porter resigned on January 21, 1891, the day after the new governor, Jim Hogg, was sworn in. The same year, Porter began working at the First National Bank of Austin as a teller and bookkeeper at the same salary he had made at the GLO. The bank was operated informally, and Porter was apparently careless in keeping his books and may have embezzled funds. In 1894, he was accused by the bank of embezzlement and lost his job but was not indicted at the time. He then worked full-time on his humorous weekly called The Rolling Stone, which he started while working at the bank. The Rolling Stone featured satire on life, people and politics and included Porter’s short stories and sketches. Although eventually reaching a top circulation of 1500, The Rolling Stone failed in April 1895, since the paper never provided an adequate income. However, his writing and drawings had caught the attention of the editor at the Houston Post. Porter and his family moved to Houston in 1895, where he started writing for the Post. His salary was only $25 a month, but it rose steadily as his popularity increased. Porter gathered ideas for his column by loitering in hotel lobbies and observing and talking to people there. This was a technique he used throughout his writing career. While he was in Houston, federal auditors audited the First National Bank of Austin and found the embezzlement shortages that led to his firing. A federal indictment followed, and he was arrested on charges of embezzlement. Flight and return Porter’s father-in-law posted bail to keep him out of jail. He was due to stand trial on July 7, 1896, but the day before, as he was changing trains to get to the courthouse, an impulse hit him. He fled, first to New Orleans and later to Honduras, with which the United States had no extradition treaty at that time. William lived in Honduras for only six months, until January 1897. There he became friends with Al Jennings, a notorious train robber, who later wrote a book about their friendship. He holed up in a Trujillo hotel, where he wrote Cabbages and Kings, in which he coined the term “banana republic” to qualify the country, a phrase subsequently used widely to describe a small, unstable tropical nation in Latin America with a narrowly focused, agrarian economy. Porter had sent Athol and Margaret back to Austin to live with Athol’s parents. Unfortunately, Athol became too ill to meet Porter in Honduras as he had planned. When he learned that his wife was dying, Porter returned to Austin in February 1897 and surrendered to the court, pending trial. Athol Estes Porter died from tuberculosis (then known as consumption) on July 25, 1897. Porter had little to say in his own defense at his trial and was found guilty on February 17, 1898 of embezzling $854.08. He was sentenced to five years in prison and imprisoned on March 25, 1898, at the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus, Ohio. Porter was a licensed pharmacist and was able to work in the prison hospital as the night druggist. He was given his own room in the hospital wing, and there is no record that he actually spent time in the cell block of the prison. He had fourteen stories published under various pseudonyms while he was in prison but was becoming best known as “O. Henry”, a pseudonym that first appeared over the story “Whistling Dick’s Christmas Stocking” in the December 1899 issue of McClure’s Magazine. A friend of his in New Orleans would forward his stories to publishers so that they had no idea that the writer was imprisoned. Porter was released on July 24, 1901, for good behavior after serving three years. He reunited with his daughter Margaret, now age 11, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where Athol’s parents had moved after Porter’s conviction. Margaret was never told that her father had been in prison—just that he had been away on business. Later life and death Porter’s most prolific writing period started in 1902, when he moved to New York City to be near his publishers. While there, he wrote 381 short stories. He wrote a story a week for over a year for the New York World Sunday Magazine. His wit, characterization, and plot twists were adored by his readers but often panned by critics. Porter married again in 1907 to childhood sweetheart Sarah (Sallie) Lindsey Coleman, whom he met again after revisiting his native state of North Carolina. Sarah Lindsey Coleman was herself a writer and wrote a romanticized and fictionalized version of their correspondence and courtship in her novella Wind of Destiny. Porter was a heavy drinker, and by 1908, his markedly deteriorating health affected his writing. In 1909, Sarah left him, and he died on June 5, 1910, of cirrhosis of the liver, complications of diabetes, and an enlarged heart. After funeral services in New York City, he was buried in the Riverside Cemetery in Asheville, North Carolina. His daughter, Margaret Worth Porter, had a short writing career from 1913 to 1916. She married cartoonist Oscar Cesare of New York in 1916; they were divorced four years later. She died of tuberculosis in 1927 and is buried next to her father. Stories O. Henry’s stories frequently have surprise endings. In his day he was called the American answer to Guy de Maupassant. While both authors wrote plot twist endings, O. Henry’s stories were considerably more playful. His stories are also known for witty narration. Most of O. Henry’s stories are set in his own time, the early 20th century. Many take place in New York City and deal for the most part with ordinary people: policemen, waitresses, etc. O. Henry’s work is wide-ranging, and his characters can be found roaming the cattle-lands of Texas, exploring the art of the con-man, or investigating the tensions of class and wealth in turn-of-the-century New York. O. Henry had an inimitable hand for isolating some element of society and describing it with an incredible economy and grace of language. Some of his best and least-known work is contained in Cabbages and Kings, a series of stories each of which explores some individual aspect of life in a paralytically sleepy Central American town, while advancing some aspect of the larger plot and relating back one to another. Cabbages and Kings was his first collection of stories, followed by The Four Million. The second collection opens with a reference to Ward McAllister’s “assertion that there were only 'Four Hundred’ people in New York City who were really worth noticing. But a wiser man has arisen—the census taker—and his larger estimate of human interest has been preferred in marking out the field of these little stories of the ‘Four Million.’” To O. Henry, everyone in New York counted. He had an obvious affection for the city, which he called “Bagdad-on-the-Subway”, and many of his stories are set there—while others are set in small towns or in other cities. His final work was “Dream”, a short story intended for the magazine The Cosmopolitan but left incomplete at the time of his death. Among his most famous stories are: “The Gift of the Magi” about a young couple, Jim and Della, who are short of money but desperately want to buy each other Christmas gifts. Unbeknownst to Jim, Della sells her most valuable possession, her beautiful hair, in order to buy a platinum fob chain for Jim’s watch; while unbeknownst to Della, Jim sells his own most valuable possession, his watch, to buy jeweled combs for Della’s hair. The essential premise of this story has been copied, re-worked, parodied, and otherwise re-told countless times in the century since it was written. “The Ransom of Red Chief”, in which two men kidnap a boy of ten. The boy turns out to be so bratty and obnoxious that the desperate men ultimately pay the boy’s father $250 to take him back. “The Cop and the Anthem” about a New York City hobo named Soapy, who sets out to get arrested so that he can be a guest of the city jail instead of sleeping out in the cold winter. Despite efforts at petty theft, vandalism, disorderly conduct, and “mashing” with a young prostitute, Soapy fails to draw the attention of the police. Disconsolate, he pauses in front of a church, where an organ anthem inspires him to clean up his life—and is ironically charged for loitering and sentenced to three months in prison. “A Retrieved Reformation”, which tells the tale of safecracker Jimmy Valentine, recently freed from prison. He goes to a town bank to case it before he robs it. As he walks to the door, he catches the eye of the banker’s beautiful daughter. They immediately fall in love and Valentine decides to give up his criminal career. He moves into the town, taking up the identity of Ralph Spencer, a shoemaker. Just as he is about to leave to deliver his specialized tools to an old associate, a lawman who recognizes him arrives at the bank. Jimmy and his fiancée and her family are at the bank, inspecting a new safe when a child accidentally gets locked inside the airtight vault. Knowing it will seal his fate, Valentine opens the safe to rescue the child. However, much to Valentine’s surprise, the lawman denies recognizing him and lets him go. “The Duplicity of Hargraves”. A short story about a nearly destitute father and daughter’s trip to Washington, D.C. “The Caballero’s Way”, in which Porter’s most famous character, the Cisco Kid, is introduced. It was first published in 1907 in the July issue of Everybody’s Magazine and collected in the book Heart of the West that same year. In later film and TV depictions, the Kid would be portrayed as a dashing adventurer, perhaps skirting the edges of the law, but primarily on the side of the angels. In the original short story, the only story by Porter to feature the character, the Kid is a murderous, ruthless border desperado, whose trail is dogged by a heroic Texas Ranger. The twist ending is, unusually for Porter, tragic. Pen name Porter used a number of pen names (including “O. Henry” or “Olivier Henry”) in the early part of his writing career; other names included S.H. Peters, James L. Bliss, T.B. Dowd, and Howard Clark. Nevertheless, the name “O. Henry” seemed to garner the most attention from editors and the public, and was used exclusively by Porter for his writing by about 1902. He gave various explanations for the origin of his pen name. In 1909 he gave an interview to The New York Times, in which he gave an account of it: It was during these New Orleans days that I adopted my pen name of O. Henry. I said to a friend: “I’m going to send out some stuff. I don’t know if it amounts to much, so I want to get a literary alias. Help me pick out a good one.” He suggested that we get a newspaper and pick a name from the first list of notables that we found in it. In the society columns we found the account of a fashionable ball. “Here we have our notables,” said he. We looked down the list and my eye lighted on the name Henry, “That’ll do for a last name,” said I. “Now for a first name. I want something short. None of your three-syllable names for me.” “Why don’t you use a plain initial letter, then?” asked my friend. “Good,” said I, “O is about the easiest letter written, and O it is.” A newspaper once wrote and asked me what the O stands for. I replied, “O stands for Olivier, the French for Oliver.” And several of my stories accordingly appeared in that paper under the name Olivier Henry. William Trevor writes in the introduction to The World of O. Henry: Roads of Destiny and Other Stories (Hodder & Stoughton, 1973) that “there was a prison guard named Orrin Henry” in the Ohio State Penitentiary “whom William Sydney Porter... immortalised as O. Henry”. According to J. F. Clarke, it is from the name of the French pharmacist Etienne Ossian Henry, whose name is in the U. S. Dispensary which Porter used working in the prison pharmacy. Writer and scholar Guy Davenport offers his own hypothesis: “The pseudonym that he began to write under in prison is constructed from the first two letters of Ohio and the second and last two of penitentiary.” Legacy The O. Henry Award is a prestigious annual prize named after Porter and given to outstanding short stories. A film was made in 1952 featuring five stories, called O. Henry’s Full House. The episode garnering the most critical acclaim was “The Cop and the Anthem” starring Charles Laughton and Marilyn Monroe. The other stories are “The Clarion Call”, “The Last Leaf”, “The Ransom of Red Chief” (starring Fred Allen and Oscar Levant), and “The Gift of the Magi”. The O. Henry House and O. Henry Hall, both in Austin, Texas, are named for him. O. Henry Hall, now owned by the Texas State University System, previously served as the federal courthouse in which O. Henry was convicted of embezzlement. Porter has elementary schools named for him in Greensboro, North Carolina (William Sydney Porter Elementary) and Garland, Texas (O. Henry Elementary), as well as a middle school in Austin, Texas (O. Henry Middle School). The O. Henry Hotel in Greensboro is also named for Porter, as is US 29 which is O. Henry Boulevard. In 1962, the Soviet Postal Service issued a stamp commemorating O. Henry’s 100th birthday. On September 11, 2012, the U.S. Postal Service issued a stamp commemorating the 150th anniversary of O. Henry’s birth. On November 23, 2011, Barack Obama quoted O. Henry while granting pardons to two turkeys named “Liberty” and “Peace”. In response, political science professor P. S. Ruckman, Jr., and Texas attorney Scott Henson filed a formal application for a posthumous pardon in September 2012, the same month that the U.S. Postal Service issued its O. Henry stamp. Previous attempts were made to obtain such a pardon for Porter in the administrations of Woodrow Wilson, Dwight Eisenhower, and Ronald Reagan, but no one had ever bothered to file a formal application. Ruckman and Henson argued that Porter deserved a pardon because (1) he was a law-abiding citizen prior to his conviction; (2) his offense was minor; (3) he had an exemplary prison record; (4) his post-prison life clearly indicated rehabilitation; (5) he would have been an excellent candidate for clemency in his time, had he but applied for pardon; (6) by today’s standards, he remains an excellent candidate for clemency; and (7) his pardon would be a well-deserved symbolic gesture and more. O. Henry’s love of language inspired the O. Henry Pun-Off, an annual spoken word competition began in 1978 that takes place at the O. Henry House. Bibliography * Cabbages and Kings (1904) * The Four Million (1906), short stories * The Trimmed Lamp (1907), short stories: “The Trimmed Lamp”, “A Madison Square Arabian Night”, “The Rubaiyat of a Scotch Highball”, “The Pendulum”, “Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen”, “The Assessor of Success”, “The Buyer from Cactus City”, “The Badge of Policeman O’Roon”, “Brickdust Row”, “The Making of a New Yorker”, “Vanity and Some Sables”, “The Social Triangle”, “The Purple Dress”, "The Foreign Policy of Company 99", “The Lost Blend”, “A Harlem Tragedy”, “'The Guilty Party’”, “According to Their Lights”, “A Midsummer Knight’s Dream”, “The Last Leaf”, “The Count and the Wedding Guest”, “The Country of Elusion”, “The Ferry of Unfulfilment”, “The Tale of a Tainted Tenner”, “Elsie in New York” * Heart of the West (1907), short stories: “Hearts and Crosses”, “The Ransom of Mack”, “Telemachus, Friend”, “The Handbook of Hymen”, “The Pimienta Pancakes”, “Seats of the Haughty”, “Hygeia at the Solito”, “An Afternoon Miracle”, “The Higher Abdication”, "Cupid à la Carte", “The Caballero’s Way”, “The Sphinx Apple”, “The Missing Chord”, “A Call Loan”, “The Princess and the Puma”, “The Indian Summer of Dry Valley Johnson”, “Christmas by Injunction”, “A Chaparral Prince”, “The Reformation of Calliope” * The Voice of the City (1908), short stories: “The Voice of the City”, “The Complete Life of John Hopkins”, “A Lickpenny Lover”, “Dougherty’s Eye-opener”, “'Little Speck in Garnered Fruit’”, “The Harbinger”, “While the Auto Waits”, “A Comedy in Rubber”, “One Thousand Dollars”, “The Defeat of the City”, “The Shocks of Doom”, “The Plutonian Fire”, “Nemesis and the Candy Man”, “Squaring the Circle”, “Roses, Ruses and Romance”, “The City of Dreadful Night”, “The Easter of the Soul”, “The Fool-killer”, “Transients in Arcadia”, “The Rathskeller and the Rose”, “The Clarion Call”, “Extradited from Bohemia”, “A Philistine in Bohemia”, “From Each According to His Ability”, “The Memento” * The Gentle Grafter (1908), short stories: “The Octopus Marooned”, “Jeff Peters as a Personal Magnet”, “Modern Rural Sports”, “The Chair of Philanthromathematics”, “The Hand That Riles the World”, “The Exact Science of Matrimony”, “A Midsummer Masquerade”, “Shearing the Wolf”, “Innocents of Broadway”, “Conscience in Art”, “The Man Higher Up”, “Tempered Wind”, “Hostages to Momus”, “The Ethics of Pig” * Roads of Destiny (1909), short stories: “Roads of Destiny”, “The Guardian of the Accolade”, “The Discounters of Money”, “The Enchanted Profile”, “Next to Reading Matter”, “Art and the Bronco”, "Phœbe", “A Double-dyed Deceiver”, “The Passing of Black Eagle”, “A Retrieved Reformation”, “Cherchez la Femme”, “Friends in San Rosario”, “The Fourth in Salvador”, “The Emancipation of Billy”, “The Enchanted Kiss”, “A Departmental Case”, “The Renaissance at Charleroi”, “On Behalf of the Management”, “Whistling Dick’s Christmas Stocking”, “The Halberdier of the Little Rheinschloss”, “Two Renegades”, “The Lonesome Road” * Options (1909), short stories: “'The Rose of Dixie’”, “The Third Ingredient”, “The Hiding of Black Bill”, “Schools and Schools”, “Thimble, Thimble”, “Supply and Demand”, “Buried Treasure”, “To Him Who Waits”, “He Also Serves”, “The Moment of Victory”, “The Head-hunter”, “No Story”, “The Higher Pragmatism”, “Best-seller”, “Rus in Urbe”, “A Poor Rule” * Strictly Business (1910), short stories: “Strictly Business”, “The Gold That Glittered”, “Babes in the Jungle”, “The Day Resurgent”, “The Fifth Wheel”, “The Poet and the Peasant”, “The Robe of Peace”, “The Girl and the Graft”, “The Call of the Tame”, “The Unknown Quantity”, “The Thing’s the Play”, “A Ramble in Aphasia”, “A Municipal Report”, “Psyche and the Pskyscraper”, “A Bird of Bagdad”, “Compliments of the Season”, “A Night in New Arabia”, “The Girl and the Habit”, “Proof of the Pudding”, “Past One at Rooney’s”, “The Venturers”, “The Duel”, “'What You Want’” * Whirligigs (1910), short stories: “The World and the Door”, “The Theory and the Hound”, “The Hypotheses of Failure”, “Calloway’s Code”, “A Matter of Mean Elevation”, “Girl”, “Sociology in Serge and Straw”, “The Ransom of Red Chief”, “The Marry Month of May”, “A Technical Error”, “Suite Homes and Their Romance”, “The Whirligig of Life”, “A Sacrifice Hit”, “The Roads We Take”, “A Blackjack Bargainer, ”The Song and the Sergeant", “One Dollar’s Worth”, “A Newspaper Story”, “Tommy’s Burglar”, “A Chaparral Christmas Gift”, “A Little Local Colour”, “Georgia’s Ruling”, “Blind Man’s Holiday”, “Madame Bo-Peep of the Ranches” * Sixes and Sevens (1911), short stories: “The Last of the Troubadours”, “The Sleuths”, “Witches’ Loaves”, “The Pride of the Cities”, “Holding Up a Train”, “Ulysses and the Dogman”, “The Champion of the Weather”, “Makes the Whole World Kin”, “At Arms with Morpheus”, “A Ghost of a Chance”, “Jimmy Hayes and Muriel”, “The Door of Unrest”, “The Duplicity of Hargraves”, “Let Me Feel Your Pulse”, “October and June”, “The Church with an Overshot-Wheel”, “New York by Camp Fire Light”, “The Adventures of Shamrock Jolnes”, “The Lady Higher Up”, “The Greater Coney”, “Law and Order”, “Transformation of Martin Burney”, “The Caliph and the Cad”, “The Diamond of Kali”, “The Day We Celebrate” * Rolling Stones (1912), short stories: “The Dream”, “A Ruler of Men”, “The Atavism of John Tom Little Bear”, “Helping the Other Fellow”, “The Marionettes”, “The Marquis and Miss Sally”, “A Fog in Santone”, “The Friendly Call”, “A Dinner at———”, “Sound and Fury”, “Tictocq”, “Tracked to Doom”, “A Snapshot at the President”, “An Unfinished Christmas Story”, “The Unprofitable Servant”, “Aristocracy Versus Hash”, “The Prisoner of Zembla”, “A Strange Story”, “Fickle Fortune, or How Gladys Hustled”, “An Apology”, “Lord Oakhurst’s Curse”, "Bexar Scrip No. 2692” * Waifs and Strays (1917), short stories References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O._Henry
James Mercer Langston Hughes (February 1, 1902 – May 22, 1967) was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist. He was one of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form jazz poetry. Hughes is best known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance. He famously wrote about the period that "the negro was in vogue" which was later paraphrased as "when Harlem was in vogue". Ancestry and childhood Both of Hughes' paternal and maternal great-grandmothers were African-American, his maternal great-grandfather was white and of Scottish descent. A paternal great-grandfather was of European Jewish descent. Hughes's maternal grandmother Mary Patterson was of African-American, French, English and Native American descent. One of the first women to attend Oberlin College, she first married Lewis Sheridan Leary, also of mixed race. Lewis Sheridan Leary subsequently joined John Brown's Raid on Harper's Ferry in 1859 and died from his wounds. In 1869 the widow Mary Patterson Leary married again, into the elite, politically active Langston family. Her second husband was Charles Henry Langston, of African American, Native American, and Euro-American ancestry. He and his younger brother John Mercer Langston worked for the abolitionist cause and helped lead the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society in 1858. Charles Langston later moved to Kansas, where he was active as an educator and activist for voting and rights for African Americans. Charles and Mary's daughter Caroline was the mother of Langston Hughes. Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri, the second child of school teacher Carrie (Caroline) Mercer Langston and James Nathaniel Hughes (1871–1934). Langston Hughes grew up in a series of Midwestern small towns. Hughes's father left his family and later divorced Carrie, going to Cuba, and then Mexico, seeking to escape the enduring racism in the United States. After the separation of his parents, while his mother traveled seeking employment, young Langston Hughes was raised mainly by his maternal grandmother, Mary Patterson Langston, in Lawrence, Kansas. Through the black American oral tradition and drawing from the activist experiences of her generation, Mary Langston instilled in her grandson a lasting sense of racial pride. He spent most of his childhood in Lawrence, Kansas. After the death of his grandmother, he went to live with family friends, James and Mary Reed, for two years. Because of the unstable early life, his childhood was not an entirely happy one, but it strongly influenced the poet he would become. Later, Hughes lived again with his mother Carrie in Lincoln, Illinois. She had remarried when he was still an adolescent, and eventually they lived in Cleveland, Ohio, where he attended high school. The Hughes' home in Cleveland was sold in foreclosure in February 1918; the 2.-story, wood-frame house on the city's east side was sold at a sheriff's auction for $16,. While in grammar school in Lincoln, Hughes was elected class poet. Hughes stated that in retrospect he thought it was because of the stereotype that African Americans have rhythm. "I was a victim of a stereotype. There were only two of us Negro kids in the whole class and our English teacher was always stressing the importance of rhythm in poetry. Well, everyone knows, except us, that all Negroes have rhythm, so they elected me as class poet." During high school in Cleveland, he wrote for the school newspaper, edited the yearbook, and began to write his first short stories, poetry, and dramatic plays. His first piece of jazz poetry, "When Sue Wears Red", was written while he was in high school. It was during this time that he discovered his love of books. Relationship with father Hughes had a very poor relationship with his father. He lived with his father in Mexico for a brief period in 1919. Upon graduating from high school in June 1920, Hughes returned to Mexico to live with his father, hoping to convince him to support Langston's plan to attend Columbia University. Hughes later said that, prior to arriving in Mexico: "I had been thinking about my father and his strange dislike of his own people. I didn't understand it, because I was a Negro, and I liked Negroes very much." Initially, his father had hoped for Hughes to attend a university abroad, and to study for a career in engineering. On these grounds, he was willing to provide financial assistance to his son but did not support his desire to be a writer. Eventually, Hughes and his father came to a compromise: Hughes would study engineering, so long as he could attend Columbia. His tuition provided; Hughes left his father after more than a year. While at Columbia in 1921, Hughes managed to maintain a B+ grade average. He left in 1922 because of racial prejudice, and his interests revolved more around the neighbourhood of Harlem than his studies, though he continued writing poetry. Adulthood Hughes worked various odd jobs, before serving a brief tenure as a crewman aboard the S.S. Malone in 1923, spending six months traveling to West Africa and Europe. In Europe, Hughes left the S.S. Malone for a temporary stay in Paris. During his time in England in the early 1920s, Hughes became part of the black expatriate community. In November 1924, Hughes returned to the U. S. to live with his mother in Washington, D.C. Hughes worked at various odd jobs before gaining a white-collar job in 1925 as a personal assistant to the historian Carter G. Woodson at the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. As the work demands limited his time for writing, Hughes quit the position to work as a busboy at the Wardman Park Hotel. There he encountered the poet Vachel Lindsay, with whom he shared some poems. Impressed with the poems, Lindsay publicized his discovery of a new black poet. By this time, Hughes's earlier work had been published in magazines and was about to be collected into his first book of poetry. The following year, Hughes enrolled in Lincoln University, a historically black university in Chester County, Pennsylvania. He joined the Omega Psi Phi fraternity. Thurgood Marshall, who later became an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, was an alumnus and classmate of Langston Hughes during his undergraduate studies at Lincoln University. After Hughes earned a B.A. degree from Lincoln University in 1929, he returned to New York. Except for travels to the Soviet Union and parts of the Caribbean, Hughes lived in Harlem as his primary home for the remainder of his life. During the 1930s, Hughes became a resident of Westfield, New Jersey. Some academics and biographers today believe that Hughes was homosexual and included homosexual codes in many of his poems, similar in manner to Walt Whitman. Hughes has cited him as an influence on his poetry. Hughes's story "Blessed Assurance" deals with a father's anger over his son's effeminacy and "queerness". To retain the respect and support of black churches and organizations and avoid exacerbating his precarious financial situation, Hughes remained closeted. Arnold Rampersad, the primary biographer of Hughes, determined that Hughes exhibited a preference for other African-American men in his work and life. However, Rampersad denies Hughes's homosexuality in his biography. Rampersad concludes that Hughes was probably asexual and passive in his sexual relationships. He did, however show a respect and love for his fellow black man (and woman). Other scholars argue for Hughes's homosexuality: his love of black men is evidenced in a number of reported unpublished poems to an alleged black male lover. Death On May 22, 1967, Hughes died from complications after abdominal surgery, related to prostate cancer, at the age of 65. His ashes are interred beneath a floor medallion in the middle of the foyer in the Arthur Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. It is the entrance to an auditorium named for him. The design on the floor is an African cosmogram titled Rivers. The title is taken from his poem, "The Negro Speaks of Rivers". Within the center of the cosmogram is the line: "My soul has grown deep like the rivers". Career First published in The Crisis in 1921, "The Negro Speaks of Rivers", which became Hughes's signature poem, was collected in his first book of poetry The Weary Blues (1926). Hughes's first and last published poems appeared in The Crisis; more of his poems were published in The Crisis than in any other journal. Hughes's life and work were enormously influential during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, alongside those of his contemporaries, Zora Neale Hurston, Wallace Thurman, Claude McKay, Countee Cullen, Richard Bruce Nugent, and Aaron Douglas. Except for McKay, they worked together also to create the short-lived magazine Fire!! Devoted to Younger Negro Artists. Hughes and his contemporaries had different goals and aspirations than the black middle class. They criticized the men known as the midwives of the Harlem Renaissance: W. E. B. Du Bois, Jessie Redmon Fauset, and Alain LeRoy Locke, as being overly accommodating and assimilating eurocentric values and culture to achieve social equality. Hughes and his fellows tried to depict the "low-life" in their art, that is, the real lives of blacks in the lower social-economic strata. They criticized the divisions and prejudices based on skin color within the black community. Hughes wrote what would be considered their manifesto, published in The Nation in 1926, "The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain" The younger Negro artists who create now intend to express our individual dark-skinned selves without fear or shame. If white people are pleased we are glad. If they are not, it doesn't matter. We know we are beautiful. And ugly, too. The tom-tom cries, and the tom-tom laughs. If colored people are pleased we are glad. If they are not, their displeasure doesn't matter either. We build our temples for tomorrow, strong as we know how, and we stand on top of the mountain free within ourselves. Hughes identified as unashamedly black at a time when blackness was démodé. He stressed the theme of "black is beautiful" as he explored the black human condition in a variety of depths. His main concern was the uplift of his people, whose strengths, resiliency, courage, and humor he wanted to record as part of the general American experience. His poetry and fiction portrayed the lives of the working-class blacks in America, lives he portrayed as full of struggle, joy, laughter, and music. Permeating his work is pride in the African-American identity and its diverse culture. "My seeking has been to explain and illuminate the Negro condition in America and obliquely that of all human kind," Hughes is quoted as saying. He confronted racial stereotypes, protested social conditions, and expanded African America’s image of itself; a “people’s poet” who sought to reeducate both audience and artist by lifting the theory of the black aesthetic into reality. An expression of this is the poem "My People": The night is beautiful, So the faces of my people. The stars are beautiful, So the eyes of my people Beautiful, also, is the sun. Beautiful, also, are the souls of my people. Hughes stressed a racial consciousness and cultural nationalism devoid of self-hate. His thought united people of African descent and Africa across the globe to encourage pride in their diverse black folk culture and black aesthetic. Hughes was one of the few prominent black writers to champion racial consciousness as a source of inspiration for black artists. His African-American race consciousness and cultural nationalism would influence many foreign black writers, such as Jacques Roumain, Nicolás Guillén, Léopold Sédar Senghor, and Aimé Césaire. Along with the works of Senghor, Césaire, and other French-speaking writers of Africa and of African descent from the Caribbean, such as René Maran from Martinique and Léon Damas from French Guiana in South America, the works of Hughes helped to inspire the Négritude movement in France. A radical black self-examination was emphasized in the face of European colonialism. In addition to his example in social attitudes, Hughes had an important technical influence by his emphasis on folk and jazz rhythms as the basis of his poetry of racial pride. In 1930, his first novel, Not Without Laughter, won the Harmon Gold Medal for literature. At a time before widespread arts grants, Hughes gained the support of private patrons and he was supported for two years prior to publishing this novel. The protagonist of the story is a boy named Sandy, whose family must deal with a variety of struggles due to their race and class, in addition to relating to one another. Maxim Lieber became his literary agent, 1933–1945 and 1949-1950. Hughes's first collection of short stories was published in 1934 with The Ways of White Folks. He finished the book at a Carmel, California cottage provided for a year by Noel Sullivan, another patron. These stories are a series of vignettes revealing the humorous and tragic interactions between whites and blacks. Overall, they are marked by a general pessimism about race relations, as well as a sardonic realism. In 1935 Hughes received a Guggenheim Fellowship. The same year that Hughes established his theater troupe in Los Angeles, he realized an ambition related to films by co-writing the screenplay for Way Down South. Hughes believed his failure to gain more work in the lucrative movie trade was due to racial discrimination within the industry. In 1943, Hughes began publishing stories about a character he called Jesse B. Semple, often referred to and spelled "Simple", the everyday black man in Harlem who offered musings on topical issues of the day. Although Hughes seldom responded to requests to teach at colleges, in 1947 he taught at Atlanta University. In 1949, he spent three months at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools as a visiting lecturer. He wrote novels, short stories, plays, poetry, operas, essays, and works for children. With the encouragement of his best friend and writer, Arna Bontemps, and patron and friend, Carl Van Vechten, he wrote two volumes of autobiography, The Big Sea and I Wonder as I Wander, as well as translating several works of literature into English. During the mid−1950s and −1960s, Hughes' popularity among the younger generation of black writers varied even as his reputation increased worldwide. With the gradual advancement toward racial integration, many black writers considered his writings of black pride and its corresponding subject matter out of date. They considered him a racial chauvinist. He found some new writers, including James Baldwin, lacking in such pride, overintellectual in their work, and occasionally vulgar. Hughes wanted young black writers to be objective about their race, but not to scorn it or flee it. He understood the main points of the Black Power movement of the 1960s, but believed that some of the younger black writers who supported it were too angry in their work. Hughes's work Panther and the Lash, posthumously published in 1967, was intended to show solidarity with these writers, but with more skill and devoid of the most virulent anger and racial chauvinism some showed toward whites. Hughes continued to have admirers among the larger younger generation of black writers. He often helped writers by offering advice and introducing them to other influential persons in the literature and publishing communities. This latter group, including Alice Walker, whom Hughes discovered, looked upon Hughes as a hero and an example to be emulated within their own work. One of these young black writers (<--Who?-->) observed of Hughes, "Langston set a tone, a standard of brotherhood and friendship and cooperation, for all of us to follow. You never got from him, 'I am the Negro writer,' but only 'I am a Negro writer.' He never stopped thinking about the rest of us." Political views Hughes, like many black writers and artists of his time, was drawn to the promise of Communism as an alternative to a segregated America. Many of his lesser-known political writings have been collected in two volumes published by the University of Missouri Press and reflect his attraction to Communism. An example is the poem "A New Song". In 1932, Hughes became part of a group of black people who went to the Soviet Union to make a film depicting the plight of African Americans in the United States. The film was never made, but Hughes was given the opportunity to travel extensively through the Soviet Union and to the Soviet-controlled regions in Central Asia, the latter parts usually closed to Westerners. While there, he met Robert Robinson, an African American living in Moscow and unable to leave. In Turkmenistan, Hughes met and befriended the Hungarian author Arthur Koestler, then a Communist sympathizer and given permission to travel there. Hughes also managed to travel to China and Japan before returning to the States. Hughes's poetry was frequently published in the CPUSA newspaper and he was involved in initiatives supported by Communist organizations, such as the drive to free the Scottsboro Boys. Partly as a show of support for the Republican faction during the Spanish Civil War, in 1937 Hughes traveled to Spain as a correspondent for the Baltimore Afro-American and other various African-American newspapers. Hughes was also involved in other Communist-led organizations such as the John Reed Clubs and the League of Struggle for Negro Rights. He was more of a sympathizer than an active participant. He signed a 1938 statement supporting Joseph Stalin's purges and joined the American Peace Mobilization in 1940 working to keep the U.S. from participating in World War II. Hughes initially did not favor black American involvement in the war because of the persistence of discriminatory U.S. Jim Crow laws and racial segregation and disfranchisement throughout the South. He came to support the war effort and black American participation after deciding that war service would aid their struggle for civil rights at home. The scholar Anthony Pinn has noted that Hughes, together with Lorraine Hansberry and Richard Wright, was a humanist "critical of belief in God. They provided a foundation for nontheistic participation in social struggle.” Pinn has found that such writers are sometimes ignored in the narrative of American history that chiefly credits the civil rights movement to the work of affiliated Christian people. Hughes was accused of being a Communist by many on the political right, but he always denied it. When asked why he never joined the Communist Party, he wrote, "it was based on strict discipline and the acceptance of directives that I, as a writer, did not wish to accept." In 1953, he was called before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations led by Senator Joseph McCarthy. He stated, "I never read the theoretical books of socialism or communism or the Democratic or Republican parties for that matter, and so my interest in whatever may be considered political has been non-theoretical, non-sectarian, and largely emotional and born out of my own need to find some way of thinking about this whole problem of myself." Following his testimony, Hughes distanced himself from Communism. He was rebuked by some on the Radical Left who had previously supported him. Over time, Hughes left his most radical poems behind. For instance, he excluded them from his Selected Poems (1959). Representation in other media Hughes's life has been portrayed in film and stage productions since the late twentieth century. In Looking for Langston (1989), British filmmaker Isaac Julien claimed Hughes as a black gay icon — Julien thought that Hughes' sexuality had historically been ignored or downplayed. Film portrayals of Hughes include Gary LeRoi Gray's role as a teenage Hughes in the short subject film Salvation (2003) (based on a portion of his autobiography The Big Sea), and Daniel Sunjata as Hughes in the Brother to Brother (2004). Hughes' Dream Harlem, a documentary by Jamal Joseph, examines Hughes' works and environment. Paper Armor (1999) by Eisa Davis and Hannibal of the Alps (2005) by Michael Dinwiddie are plays by African-American playwrights that address Hughes's sexuality. Spike Lee's film Get on the Bus, included a black gay character, played by Isaiah Washington, who invokes the name of Hughes and punches a homophobic character, saying, "This is for James Baldwin and Langston Hughes." Literary archives The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University holds the Langston Hughes papers (1862–1980) and the Langston Hughes collection (1924–1969) containing letters, manuscripts, personal items, photographs, clippings, artworks, and objects that document the life of Hughes. The Langston Hughes Memorial Library on the campus of Lincoln University, as well as at the James Weldon Johnson Collection within the Yale University also hold archives of Hughes' work. Honors and awards * 1943, Lincoln University awarded Hughes an honorary Litt.D. * 1960, the NAACP awarded Hughes the Spingarn Medal for distinguished achievements by an African American. * 1961 National Institute of Arts and Letters. * 1963 Howard University awarded Hughes an honorary doctorate. * 1973, the first Langston Hughes Medal was awarded by the City College of New York. * 1979, Langston Hughes Middle School was created in Reston, Virginia. * 1981, New York City Landmark status was given to the Harlem home of Langston Hughes at 20 East 127th Street (40°48′26.32″N 73°56′25.54″W) by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission and 127th St. was renamed Langston Hughes Place. The Langston Hughes House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. * 2002 The United States Postal Service added the image of Langston Hughes to its Black Heritage series of postage stamps. * 2002, scholar Molefi Kete Asante listed Langston Hughes on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans. Poetry collections The Weary Blues, Knopf, 1926 Fine Clothes to the Jew, Knopf, 1927 The Negro Mother and Other Dramatic Recitations, 1931 Dear Lovely Death, 1931 The Dream Keeper and Other Poems, Knopf, 1932 Scottsboro Limited: Four Poems and a Play, Golden Stair Press, N.Y., 1932 Let America Be America Again, 1938 Shakespeare in Harlem, Knopf, 1942 Freedom's Plow, 1943 Fields of Wonder, Knopf, 1947 One-Way Ticket, 1949 Montage of a Dream Deferred, Holt, 1951 Selected Poems of Langston Hughes, 1958 Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz, Hill & Wang, 1961 The Panther and the Lash: Poems of Our Times, 1967 The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, Knopf, 1994 Novels and short story collections Not Without Laughter. Knopf, 1930 The Ways of White Folks. Knopf, 1934 Simple Speaks His Mind. 1950 Laughing to Keep from Crying, Holt, 1952 Simple Takes a Wife. 1953 Sweet Flypaper of Life, photographs by Roy DeCarava. 1955 Tambourines to Glory 1958 The Best of Simple. 1961 Simple's Uncle Sam. 1965 Something in Common and Other Stories. Hill & Wang, 1963 Short Stories of Langston Hughes. Hill & Wang, 1996 Non-fiction books The Big Sea. New York: Knopf, 1940 Famous American Negroes. 1954 I Wonder as I Wander. New York: Rinehart & Co., 1956 A Pictorial History of the Negro in America, with Milton Meltzer. 1956 Famous Negro Heroes of America. 1958 Fight for Freedom: The Story of the NAACP. 1962 Major plays by Hughes Mule Bone, with Zora Neale Hurston. 1931 Mulatto. 1935 (renamed The Barrier, an opera, in 1950) Troubled Island, with William Grant Still. 1936 Little Ham. 1936 Emperor of Haiti. 1936 Don't You Want to be Free? 1938 Street Scene, contributed lyrics. 1947 Tambourines to glory. 1956 Simply Heavenly. 1957 Black Nativity. 1961 Five Plays by Langston Hughes. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1963. Jericho-Jim Crow. 1964 Works for children Popo and Fifina, with Arna Bontemps. 1932 The First Book of the Negroes. 1952 The First Book of Jazz. 1954 Marian Anderson: Famous Concert Singer. with Steven C. Tracy 1954 The First Book of Rhythms. 1954 The First Book of the West Indies. 1956 First Book of Africa. 1964 Black Misery. Illustrated by Arouni. 1969, reprinted by Oxford University Press, 1994. References Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langston_Hughes
Donald Hall (September 20, 1928 – June 23, 2018) was an American poet born in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1928. He began writing as an adolescent and attended the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference at the age of sixteen—the same year he had his first work published. He earned a B.A. from Harvard in 1951 and a B. Litt. from Oxford in 1953. Donald Hall has published numerous books of poetry, most recently White Apples and the Taste of Stone: Selected Poems 1946-2006 (Houghton Mifflin, 2006); The Painted Bed (2002) and Without: Poems (1998), which was published on the third anniversary of his wife and fellow poet Jane Kenyon's death from leukemia. Other notable collections include The One Day (1988), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and a Pulitzer Prize nomination; The Happy Man (1986), which won the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; and Exiles and Marriages (1955), which was the Academy's Lamont Poetry Selection for 1956. In a review of Hall's recent Selected Poems, Billy Collins wrote in the Washington Post: "Hall has long been placed in the Frostian tradition of the plainspoken rural poet. His reliance on simple, concrete diction and the no-nonsense sequence of the declarative sentence gives his poems steadiness and imbues them with a tone of sincere authority. It is a kind of simplicity that succeeds in engaging the reader in the first few lines." Besides poetry, Donald Hall has written books on baseball, the sculptor Henry Moore, and the poet Marianne Moore. He is also the author of children's books, including Ox-Cart Man (1979), which won the Caldecott Medal; short stories, including Willow Temple: New and Selected Stories (Houghton Mifflin, 2003); and plays. He has also published several autobiographical works, such as The Best Day The Worst Day: Life with Jane Kenyon (2005) and Life Work (1993), which won the New England Book award for nonfiction. Hall has edited more than two dozen textbooks and anthologies, including The Oxford Book of Children's Verse in America (1990), The Oxford Book of American Literary Anecdotes (1981), New Poets of England and America (with Robert Pack and Louis Simpson, 1957), and Contemporary American Poetry (1962; revised 1972). He served as poetry editor of The Paris Review from 1953 to 1962, and as a member of editorial board for poetry at Wesleyan University Press from 1958 to 1964. His honors include two Guggenheim fellowships, the Poetry Society of America's Robert Frost Silver medal, a Lifetime Achievement award from the New Hampshire Writers and Publisher Project, and the Ruth Lilly Prize for poetry. Hall also served as Poet Laureate of New Hampshire from 1984 to 1989. In December 1993 he and Jane Kenyon were the subject of an Emmy Award-winning Bill Moyers documentary, "A Life Together." In the June 2006, Hall was appointed the Library of Congress's fourteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. He lives in Danbury, New Hampshire. Poetry To the Loud Wind and Other Poems (1955) Exiles and Marriages (1955) The Dark Houses (1958) A Roof of Tiger Lilies (1964) The Alligator Bride: Poems, New and Selected (1969) The Yellow Room: Love Poems (1971) A Blue Wing Tilts at the Edge of the Sea: Selected Poems, 1964-1974 (1975) The Town of Hill (1975) Kicking the Leaves: Poems (1978) The Toy Bone (1979) The Happy Man (1986) The One Day (1988) Old and New Poems (1990) Here at Eagle Pond (1992) The Museum of Clear Ideas (1996) The Old Life (1996) Without (1998) The Painted Bed (2002) White Apples and the Taste of Stone: Selected Poems 1946-2006 (2006) Prose String Too Short to Be Saved: Recollections of Summers on a New England Farm (1961) Henry Moore: The Life and Work of a Great Sculptor (1966) As the Eye Moves: A Sculpture by Henry Moore (1970) Marianne Moore: The Cage and the Animal (1970) The Pleasures of Poetry (1971) Writing Well (1974) Dock Ellis in the Country of Baseball (1976) Remembering Poets: Reminiscences and Opinions--Dylan Thomas, Robert Frost, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound (1978) Goatfoot Milktongue Twinbird: Interviews, Essays, and Notes on Poetry, 1970-76 (1978) To Read Literature (1980) The Weather for Poetry: Essays, Reviews, and Notes on Poetry, 1977-81 (1982) Seasons at Eagle Pond (1987) Poetry and Ambition (1988) Life Work (1993) Death to the Death of Poetry: Essays, Reviews, Notes, Interviews (1994) Old Home Day (1994) The Farm Summer, 1942 (1994) Principal Products of Portugal: Prose Pieces (1995) The Best Day The Worst Day: Life with Jane Kenyon (2005) Drama An Evening's Frost (1965) Bread and Roses (1975) Ragged Mountain Elegies (1983) Essays To Keep Moving: Essays, 1959-1969 (1980) Fathers Playing Catch with Sons: Essays on Sport (Mostly Baseball) (1985) Winter (1986) For Children Andrew the Lion Farmer (1959) Riddle Rat (1977) Ox-Cart Man (1979) The Man Who Lived Alone (1984) I Am the Dog, I Am the Cat (1994) Summer of 1944 (1994) Lucy's Christmas (1994) Lucy's Summer (1995) Old Home Day (1996) When Willard Met Babe Ruth (1996) The Milkman's Boy (1997) Letters The Ideal Bakery (1987) References Poet.org – http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/264
These poems are all my original work, I write from the heart and my head for my own sanity! I do not share these with anyone I know... These are my inner most thoughts written directly on here to share with others as part of my healing process. Unfortunately most of my self penned poetry is dark and sacred to me- by writing on here I feel I am able to express myself freely with the knowledge that there are like minded people who can relate to my poems... As much as I can relate to theirs...
James Henry Leigh Hunt (19 October 1784– 28 August 1859), best known as Leigh Hunt, was an English critic, essayist, poet, and writer. Biography Early life James Henry Leigh Hunt was born at Southgate, London, where his parents had settled after leaving the United States. His father Isaac, a lawyer from Philadelphia, and his mother, Mary Shewell, a merchant’s daughter and a devout Quaker, had been forced to come to Britain because of their loyalist sympathies during the American War of Independence. Hunt’s father took holy orders and became a popular preacher, but he was unsuccessful in obtaining a permanent living. Hunt’s father was then employed by James Brydges, 3rd Duke of Chandos, as tutor to his nephew, James Henry Leigh (father of Chandos Leigh), after whom the boy was named. Education Leigh Hunt was educated at Christ’s Hospital from 1791 to 1799, a period which is detailed in his autobiography. He entered the school shortly after Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Charles Lamb had both left; Thomas Barnes, however, was a school friend of his. One of the current boarding houses at Christ’s Hospital is named after him. As a boy, he was an ardent admirer of Thomas Gray and William Collins, writing many verses in imitation of them. A speech impediment, later cured, prevented his going to university. “For some time after I left school,” he says, “I did nothing but visit my school-fellows, haunt the book-stalls and write verses.” His poems were published in 1801 under the title of Juvenilia, and introduced him into literary and theatrical society. He began to write for the newspapers, and published in 1807 a volume of theatre criticism, and a series of Classic Tales with critical essays on the authors. Hunt’s early essays were published by Edward Quin, editor and owner of The Traveller. Family In 1809, Leigh Hunt married Marianne Kent (whose parents were Thomas and Ann). Over the next 20 years they had ten children: Thornton Leigh (1810–73), John Horatio Leigh (1812–46), Mary Florimel Leigh (1813–49), Swinburne Percy Leigh (1816–27), Percy Bysshe Shelley Leigh (1817–99), Henry Sylvan Leigh (1819–76), Vincent Leigh (1823–52), Julia Trelawney Leigh (1826–72), Jacyntha Leigh (1828–1914), and Arabella Leigh (1829–30). Marianne, who had been in ill health for most of her life, died 26 January 1857, aged sixty-nine. Leigh Hunt made little mention of his family in his autobiography. Marianne’s sister, Elizabeth Kent (Hunt’s sister-in-law), became his amanuensis. Newspapers The Examiner In 1808 he left the War Office, where he had been working as a clerk, to become editor of the Examiner, a newspaper founded by his brother, John. His brother Robert Hunt, among others, also contributed to its columns; his criticism earned the enmity of William Blake, who described the journal’s office at Beaufort Buildings, Strand, London, as containing a “nest of villains”. Blake’s response included Leigh Hunt, who aside from publishing the vitriolic reviews of 1808 and 1809 had added Blake’s name on a list of “quacks”. This journal soon acquired a reputation for unusual political independence; it would attack any worthy target, “from a principle of taste,” as John Keats expressed it. In 1813, an attack on the Prince Regent, based on substantial truth, resulted in prosecution and a sentence of two years’ imprisonment for each of the brothers—Leigh Hunt served his term at the Surrey County Gaol. Leigh Hunt’s visitors in prison included Lord Byron, Thomas Moore, Lord Brougham, Charles Lamb and others, whose acquaintance influenced his later career. The stoicism with which Leigh Hunt bore his imprisonment attracted general attention and sympathy. His imprisonment allowed him many luxuries and access to friends and family, and Lamb described his decorations of the cell as something not found outside a fairy tale. When Jeremy Bentham called on him, he was found playing battledore. A number of essays in The Examiner that were written by Hunt and William Hazlitt between 1814 and 1817 under the series title “The Round Table” were collected in book form in The Round Table, published in two volumes in 1817. Twelve of the fifty-two essays were by Hunt, the rest by Hazlitt. The Reflector In 1810–1811 he edited a quarterly magazine, the Reflector, for his brother John. He wrote “The Feast of the Poets” for this, a satire, which offended many contemporary poets, particularly William Gifford of the Quarterly. The Indicator In 1819–1821, Hunt edited The Indicator, a weekly literary periodical published by Joseph Appleyard. Hunt probably wrote much of the content as well, which included reviews, essays, stories, and poems. Poetry In 1816 he made a mark in English literature with the publication of Story of Rimini, based on the tragic episode of Francesca da Rimini told in Dante’s Inferno. Hunt’s preference was decidedly for Chaucer’s verse style, as adapted to modern English by John Dryden, in opposition to the epigrammatic couplet of Alexander Pope which had superseded it. The poem is an optimistic narrative which runs contrary to the tragic nature of its subject. Hunt’s flippancy and familiarity, often degenerating into the ludicrous, subsequently made him a target for ridicule and parody. In 1818 appeared a collection of poems entitled Foliage, followed in 1819 by Hero and Leander, and Bacchus and Ariadne. In the same year he reprinted these two works with The Story of Rimini and The Descent of Liberty with the title of Poetical Works, and started the Indicator, in which some of his best work appeared. Both Keats and Shelley belonged to the circle gathered around him at Hampstead, which also included William Hazlitt, Charles Lamb, Bryan Procter, Benjamin Haydon, Charles Cowden Clarke, C.W. Dilke, Walter Coulson and John Hamilton Reynolds. This group was known as the Hunt Circle, or, pejoratively, as the Cockney School. Some of Hunt’s most popular poems are “Jenny kiss’d Me”, “Abou Ben Adhem” and “A Night-Rain in Summer”. Friendship with Keats and Shelley He had for some years been married to Marianne Kent. His own affairs were in confusion, and only Percy Bysshe Shelley’s generosity saved him from ruin. In return he showed sympathy to Shelley during the latter’s domestic distresses, and defended him in the Examiner. He introduced Keats to Shelley and wrote a very generous appreciation of him in the Indicator. Keats seems, however, to have subsequently felt that Hunt’s example as a poet had been in some respects detrimental to him. After Shelley’s departure for Italy in 1818, Leigh Hunt became even poorer, and the prospects of political reform less satisfactory. Both his health and that of his wife failed, and he was obliged to discontinue the Indicator (1819–1821), having, he says, “almost died over the last numbers.” Shelley suggested that Hunt go to Italy with him and Byron to establish a quarterly magazine in which Liberal opinions could be advocated with more freedom than was possible at home. An injudicious suggestion, it would have done little for Hunt or the Liberal cause at the best, and depended entirely upon the co-operation of the capricious, parsimonious Byron. Byron’s principal motive for agreeing appears to have been the expectation of acquiring influence over the Examiner, and he was mortified to discover that Hunt was no longer interested in the Examiner. Leigh Hunt left England for Italy in November 1821, but storm, sickness and misadventure retarded his arrival until 1 July 1822, a rate of progress which Thomas Love Peacock appropriately compares to the navigation of Ulysses. The death of Shelley, a few weeks later, destroyed every prospect of success for the Liberal. Hunt was now virtually dependent upon Byron, who did not relish the idea of being patron to Hunt’s large and troublesome family. Byron’s friends also scorned Hunt. The Liberal lived through four quarterly numbers, containing contributions no less memorable than Byron’s “Vision of Judgment” and Shelley’s translations from Faust; but in 1823 Byron sailed for Greece, leaving Hunt at Genoa to shift for himself. The Italian climate and manners, however, were entirely to Hunt’s taste, and he protracted his residence until 1825, producing in the interim Ultra-Crepidarius: a Satire on William Gifford (1823), and his translation (1825) of Francesco Redi’s Bacco in Toscana. In 1825 a litigation with his brother brought him back to England, and in 1828 he published Lord Byron and some of his Contemporaries, a corrective to idealized portraits of Byron. The public was shocked that Hunt, who had been obliged to Byron for so much, would “bite the hand that fed him” in this way. Hunt especially writhed under the withering satire of Moore. For many years afterwards, the history of Hunt’s life is a painful struggle with poverty and sickness. He worked unremittingly, but one effort failed after another. Two journalistic ventures, the Tatler (1830–1832), a daily devoted to literary and dramatic criticism, and Leigh Hunt’s London Journal (1834–1835), were discontinued for want of subscribers, although the latter contained some of his best writing. His editorship (1837–1838) of the Monthly Repository, in which he succeeded William Johnson Fox, was also unsuccessful. The adventitious circumstances which allowed the Examiner to succeed no longer existed, and Hunt’s personality was unsuited to the general body of readers. In 1832 a collected edition of his poems was published by subscription, the list of subscribers including many of his opponents. In the same year was printed for private circulation Christianism, the work afterwards published (1853) as The Religion of the Heart. A copy sent to Thomas Carlyle secured his friendship, and Hunt went to live next door to him in Cheyne Row in 1833. Sir Ralph Esher, a romance of Charles II’s period, had a success, and Captain Sword and Captain Pen (1835), a spirited contrast between the victories of peace and the victories of war, deserves to be ranked among his best poems. In 1840 his circumstances were improved by the successful representation at Covent Garden of his play Legend of Florence. Lover’s Amazements, a comedy, was acted several years afterwards, and was printed in Leigh Hunt’s Journal (1850–1851); other plays remained in manuscript. In 1840 he wrote introductory notices to the work of Sheridan and to Edward Moxon’s edition of the works of William Wycherley, William Congreve, John Vanbrugh and George Farquhar, a work which furnished the occasion of Macaulay’s essay on the Dramatists of the Restoration. The narrative poem The Palfrey was published in 1842. More financial difficulties The time of Hunt’s greatest difficulties was between 1834 and 1840. He was at times in absolute poverty, and his distress was aggravated by domestic complications. By Macaulay’s recommendation he began to write for the Edinburgh Review. In 1844 Mary Shelley and her son, on succeeding to the family estates, settled an annuity of £120 upon Hunt (Rossetti 1890); and in 1847 Lord John Russell procured him a pension of £200. Now living in improved comfort, Hunt published the companion books, Imagination and Fancy (1844), and Wit and Humour (1846), two volumes of selections from the English poets, which displayed his refined, discriminating critical tastes. His book on the pastoral poetry of Sicily, A Jar of Honey from Mount Hybla (1848), is also delightful. The Town (2 vols., 1848) and Men, Women and Books (2 vols., 1847) are partly made up from former material. The Old Court Suburb (2 vols., 1855; ed. A Dobson, 2002) is a sketch of Kensington, where he long resided. In 1850 he published his Autobiography (3 vols.), a naive and affected, but accurate, piece of self-portraiture. A Book for a Corner (2 vols.) was published in 1849, and his Table Talk appeared in 1851. In 1855 his narrative poems, original and translated, were collected under the title Stories in Verse. He died in Putney on 28 August 1859, and is buried at Kensal Green Cemetery. In September 1966 Christ’s Hospital named one of its Houses in memory of him. Leigh Hunt was the original of Harold Skimpole in Bleak House. "Dickens wrote in a letter of 25 September 1853, 'I suppose he is the most exact portrait that was ever painted in words!... It is an absolute reproduction of a real man’; and a contemporary critic commented, 'I recognized Skimpole instantaneously;... and so did every person whom I talked with about it who had ever had Leigh Hunt’s acquaintance.'" G. K. Chesterton suggested that Dickens “may never once have had the unfriendly thought, ‘Suppose Hunt behaved like a rascal!’; he may have only had the fanciful thought, ‘Suppose a rascal behaved like Hunt!’” (Chesterton 1906). Other works Amyntas, A Tale of the Woods (1820), a translation of Tasso’s Aminta Flora Domestica, Or, The Portable Flower-garden: with Directions for the Treatment of Plants in Pots and Illustrations From the Works of the Poets. London: Taylor and Hessey. 1823., with Elizabeth Kent, published anonymously The Seer, or Common-Places refreshed (2 pts., 1840–1841) three of the Canterbury Tales in The Poems of Geoffrey Chaucer modernized (1841) Stories from the Italian Poets (1846) compilations such as One Hundred Romances of Real Life (1843) selections from Beaumont and Fletcher (1855) with S Adams Lee, The Book of the Sonnet (Boston, 1867). His Poetical Works (2 vols.), revised by himself and edited by Lee, were printed at Boston in 1857, and an edition (London and New York) by his son, Thornton Hunt, appeared in 1860. Among volumes of selections are Essays (1887), ed. A Symons; Leigh Hunt as Poet and Essayist (1889), ed. C Kent; Essays and Poems (1891), ed. RB Johnson for the “Temple Library.” His Autobiography was revised shortly before his death, and edited (1859) by his son Thornton Hunt, who also arranged his Correspondence (2 vols., 1862). Additional letters were printed by the Cowden Clarkes in their Recollections of Writers (1878). The Autobiography was edited (2 vols., 1903) with full bibliographical note by Roger Ingpen. A bibliography of his works was compiled by Alexander Ireland (List of the Writings of William Hazlitt and Leigh Hunt, 1868). There are short lives of Hunt by Cosmo Monkhouse ("Great Writers," 1893) and by RB Johnson (1896). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Volume 28 (2004). References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leigh_Hunt
Robert Herrick (baptized 24 August 1591 – buried 15 October 1674) was a 17th-century English poet. Born in Cheapside, London, he was the seventh child and fourth son of Julia Stone and Nicholas Herrick, a prosperous goldsmith. His father died in a fall from a fourth-floor window in November 1592, when Robert was a year old (whether this was suicide remains unclear). The tradition that Herrick received his education at Westminster is groundless. It is more likely that (like his uncle's children) he attended The Merchant Taylors' School. In 1607 he became apprenticed to his uncle, Sir William Herrick, who was a goldsmith and jeweler to the king. The apprenticeship ended after only six years when Herrick, at age twenty-two, matriculated at St John's College, Cambridge. He graduated in 1617. Robert Herrick became a member of the Sons of Ben, a group centered upon an admiration for the works of Ben Jonson. Herrick wrote at least five poems to Jonson. Herrick took holy orders in 1623, and in 1629 he became vicar of Dean Prior in Devonshire. In 1647, in the wake of the English Civil War, Herrick was ejected from his vicarage for refusing the Solemn League and Covenant. He then returned to London, living in Westminster and depending on the charity of his friends and family. He spent some time preparing his lyric poems for publication, and had them printed in 1648 under the title Hesperides; or the Works both Human and Divine of Robert Herrick, with a dedication to the Prince of Wales. When King Charles II was restored to the throne in 1660, Herrick petitioned for his own restoration to his living. Perhaps King Charles felt kindly towards this genial man, who had written verses celebrating the births of both Charles II and his brother James before the Civil War. Herrick became the vicar of Dean Prior again in the summer of 1662 and lived there until his death in October 1674, at the ripe age of 83. His date of death is not known, but he was buried on 15 October. Herrick was a bachelor all his life, and many of the women he names in his poems are thought to be fictional. Poetic style and stature Herrick wrote over 2,500 poems, about half of which appear in his major work, Hesperides. Hesperides also includes the much shorter Noble Numbers, his first book, of spiritual works, first published in 1647. He is well-known for his style and, in his earlier works, frequent references to lovemaking and the female body. His later poetry was more of a spiritual and philosophical nature. Among his most famous short poetical sayings are the unique monometers, such as "Thus I / Pass by / And die,/ As one / Unknown / And gone." Herrick sets out his subject-matter in the poem he printed at the beginning of his collection, The Argument of his Book. He dealt with English country life and its seasons, village customs, complimentary poems to various ladies and his friends, themes taken from classical writings and a solid bedrock of Christian faith, not intellectualized but underpinning the rest. Herrick never married, and none of his love-poems seem to connect directly with any one beloved woman. He loved the richness of sensuality and the variety of life, and this is shown vividly in such poems as Cherry-ripe, Delight in Disorder and Upon Julia’s Clothes. The over-riding message of Herrick’s work is that life is short, the world is beautiful, love is splendid, and we must use the short time we have to make the most of it. This message can be seen clearly in To the Virgins, to make much of Time, To Daffodils, To Blossoms and Corinna going a-Maying, where the warmth and exuberance of what seems to have been a kindly and jovial personality comes over strongly. The opening stanza in one of his more famous poems, "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time", is as follows: Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old Time is still a-flying; And this same flower that smiles today, Tomorrow will be dying. This poem is an example of the carpe diem genre; the popularity of Herrick's poems of this kind helped revive the genre. His poems were not widely popular at the time they were published. His style was strongly influenced by Ben Jonson, by the classical Roman writers, and by the poems of the late Elizabethan era. This must have seemed quite old-fashioned to an audience whose tastes were tuned to the complexities of the metaphysical poets such as John Donne and Andrew Marvell. His works were rediscovered in the early nineteenth century, and have been regularly printed ever since. The Victorian poet Swinburne described Herrick as the greatest song writer...ever born of English race. It is certainly true that despite his use of classical allusions and names, his poems are easier for modern readers to understand than those of many of his contemporaries. Robert Herrick is a major character in Rose Macaulay's 1932 historical novel, They Were Defeated. References Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Herrick_(poet)
Aldous Leonard Huxley (26 July 1894 – 22 November 1963) was an English writer, philosopher and a prominent member of the Huxley family. He was best known for his novels including Brave New World, set in a dystopian London, and for non-fiction books, such as The Doors of Perception, which recalls experiences when taking a psychedelic drug, and a wide-ranging output of essays. Early in his career Huxley edited the magazine Oxford Poetry, and published short stories and poetry. Mid career and later, he published travel writing, film stories, and scripts. He spent the later part of his life in the U.S., living in Los Angeles from 1937 until his death. In 1962, a year before his death, he was elected Companion of Literature by the Royal Society of Literature. Huxley was a humanist, pacifist, and satirist. He later became interested in spiritual subjects such as parapsychology and philosophical mysticism, in particular, Universalism. By the end of his life, Huxley was widely acknowledged as one of the pre-eminent intellectuals of his time. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in seven different years. Early life Aldous Huxley was born in Godalming, Surrey, England, in 1894. He was the third son of the writer and schoolmaster Leonard Huxley and his first wife, Julia Arnold, who founded Prior's Field School. Julia was the niece of poet and critic Matthew Arnold and the sister of Mrs. Humphrey Ward. Aldous was the grandson of Thomas Henry Huxley, the zoologist, agnostic, and controversialist ("Darwin's Bulldog"). His brother Julian Huxley and half-brother Andrew Huxley also became outstanding biologists. Aldous had another brother, Noel Trevelyan Huxley (1891–1914), who committed suicide after a period of clinical depression. Huxley began his learning in his father's well-equipped botanical laboratory, then went to Hillside School, Malvern. His teacher was his mother, who supervised him for several years until she became terminally ill. After Hillside, he was educated at Eton College. Huxley's mother died in 1908 when he was 14. In 1911, he suffered an illness (keratitis punctata) which "left [him] practically blind for two to three years". Aldous volunteered to join the army at the outbreak of World War I, but was rejected on health grounds since he was half-blind in one eye. Once his eyesight recovered sufficiently, he was able to study English literature at Balliol College, Oxford. In 1916 he edited Oxford Poetry and later was graduated (BA) with first class honours. His brother Julian wrote: I believe his blindness was a blessing in disguise. For one thing, it put paid to his idea of taking up medicine as a career... His uniqueness lay in his universalism. He was able to take all knowledge for his province. Following his education at Balliol, Huxley was financially indebted to his father and had to earn a living. He taught French for a year at Eton, where Eric Blair (later to become George Orwell) and Steven Runciman were among his pupils, but he was remembered as an incompetent and hopeless teacher who couldn't keep discipline. Nevertheless, Blair and others were impressed by his use of words. For a short while in 1918, he was employed acquiring provisions at the Air Ministry. Significantly, Huxley also worked for a time during the 1920s at the technologically-advanced Brunner and Mond chemical plant in Billingham, North East England, and the most recent introduction to his famous science fiction novel Brave New World (1932) states that this experience of "an ordered universe in a world of planless incoherence" was one source for the novel. Career Huxley completed his first (unpublished) novel at the age of 17 and began writing seriously in his early 20s, establishing himself as a successful writer and social satirist. His first published novels were social satires, Crome Yellow (1921), Antic Hay (1923), Those Barren Leaves (1925), and Point Counter Point (1928). Brave New World was Huxley's fifth novel and first dystopian work. In the 1920s he was also a contributor to Vanity Fair and British Vogue magazines. Bloomsbury Set Left to right: Bloomsbury Group members – Lady Ottoline Morrell, Maria Nys, Lytton Strachey, Duncan Grant, and Vanessa Bell During World War I, Huxley spent much of his time at Garsington Manor near Oxford, home of Lady Ottoline Morrell, working as a farm labourer. There he met several Bloomsbury figures, including Bertrand Russell, Alfred North Whitehead, and Clive Bell. Later, in Crome Yellow (1921) he caricatured the Garsington lifestyle. Jobs were very scarce, but in 1919 John Middleton Murry was reorganising the Athenaeum and invited Huxley to join the staff. He accepted immediately, and quickly married the Belgian refugee Maria Nys, also at Garsington. They lived with their young son in Italy part of the time during the 1920s, where Huxley would visit his friend D. H. Lawrence. Following Lawrence's death in 1930, Huxley edited Lawrence's letters (1932). Works of this period included important novels on the dehumanising aspects of scientific progress, most famously Brave New World, and on pacifist themes (for example, Eyeless in Gaza). In Brave New World, set in a dystopian London, Huxley portrays a society operating on the principles of mass production and Pavlovian conditioning. Huxley was strongly influenced by F. Matthias Alexander and included him as a character in Eyeless in Gaza. Starting from this period, Huxley began to write and edit non-fiction works on pacifist issues, including Ends and Means, An Encyclopedia of Pacifism, and Pacifism and Philosophy, and was an active member of the Peace Pledge Union. United States In 1937, Huxley moved to Hollywood with his wife Maria, son Matthew, and friend Gerald Heard. He lived in the United States, mainly in southern California, until his death, but also for a time in Taos, New Mexico, where he wrote Ends and Means (published in 1937). In this work he examines the fact that although most people in modern civilisation agree that they want a world of "liberty, peace, justice, and brotherly love", they have not been able to agree on how to achieve it. Heard introduced Huxley to Vedanta (Upanishad-centered philosophy), meditation, and vegetarianism through the principle of ahimsa. In 1938, Huxley befriended Jiddu Krishnamurti, whose teachings he greatly admired. He also became a Vedantist in the circle of Hindu Swami Prabhavananda, and introduced Christopher Isherwood to this circle. Not long after, Huxley wrote his book on widely-held spiritual values and ideas, The Perennial Philosophy, which discussed the teachings of renowned mystics of the world. Huxley's book affirmed a sensibility that insists there are realities beyond the generally accepted "five senses" and that there is genuine meaning for humans beyond both sensual satisfactions and sentimentalities. Huxley became a close friend of Remsen Bird, president of Occidental College. He spent much time at the college, which is in the Eagle Rock neighbourhood of Los Angeles. The college appears as "Tarzana College" in his satirical novel After Many a Summer (1939). The novel won Huxley that year's James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction. Huxley also incorporated Bird into the novel. During this period, Huxley earned a substantial income as a Hollywood screenwriter; Christopher Isherwood, in his autobiography My Guru and His Disciple, states that Huxley earned more than $3,000 per week (an enormous sum in those days) as a screenwriter, and that he used much of it to transport Jewish and left-wing writer and artist refugees from Hitler's Germany to the U.S. In March 1938, his friend Anita Loos, a novelist and screenwriter, put him in touch with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer who hired Huxley for Madame Curie, which was originally to star Greta Garbo and be directed by George Cukor. (Eventually, the film was completed by MGM in 1943 with a different director and cast.) Huxley received screen credit for Pride and Prejudice (1940) and was paid for his work on a number of other films, including Jane Eyre (1944). Huxley was commissioned by Walt Disney in 1945 to write a script based on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and the biography of the story's author, Lewis Carroll. The script was not used, however. Huxley wrote an introduction to the posthumous publication of J. D. Unwin's 1940 book Hopousia or The Sexual and Economic Foundations of a New Society. On 21 October 1949, Huxley wrote to George Orwell, author of Nineteen Eighty-Four, congratulating him on "how fine and how profoundly important the book is". In his letter to Orwell, he predicted: Within the next generation I believe that the world's leaders will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging them and kicking them into obedience. Huxley had deeply felt apprehensions about the future the developed world might make for itself. From these, he made some warnings in his writings and talks. In a 1958 televised interview conducted by journalist Mike Wallace, Huxley outlined several major concerns: the difficulties and dangers of world overpopulation; the tendency toward distinctly hierarchical social organisation; the crucial importance of evaluating the use of technology in mass societies susceptible to wily persuasion; the tendency to promote modern politicians, to a naive public, as well-marketed commodities. Post World War II After World War II, Huxley applied for United States citizenship. His application was continuously deferred on the grounds that he would not say he would take up arms to defend the U.S. He claimed a philosophical, rather than a religious objection, and therefore was not exempt under the McCarran Act. He withdrew his application. Nevertheless, he remained in the country; and in 1959 he turned down an offer of a Knight Bachelor by the Macmillan government. Personal life Huxley married Maria Nys (10 September 1899 – 12 February 1955), a Belgian he met at Garsington, Oxfordshire, in 1919. They had one child, Matthew Huxley (19 April 1920 – 10 February 2005), who had a career as an author, anthropologist, and prominent epidemiologist. In 1956, Huxley married Laura Archera (1911–2007), also an author. She wrote This Timeless Moment, a biography of Huxley. Laura felt inspired to illuminate the story of their marriage through Mary Ann Braubach's 2010 documentary, "Huxley on Huxley". In 1960, Huxley was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer and, in the years that followed, with his health deteriorating, he wrote the Utopian novel Island, and gave lectures on "Human Potentialities" both at the University of California's San Francisco Medical Center and at the Esalen Institute. These lectures were fundamental to the beginning of the Human Potential Movement. Huxley was a close friend of Jiddu Krishnamurti and Rosalind Rajagopal and was involved in the creation of the Happy Valley School (now Besant Hill School of Happy Valley) in Ojai, California. The most substantial collection of Huxley's few remaining papers (following the destruction of most in a fire) is at the Library of the University of California, Los Angeles. Some are also at the Stanford University Libraries. On 9 April 1962, Huxley was informed he was elected Companion of Literature by the Royal Society of Literature, the senior literary organisation in Britain, and he accepted the title via letter on 28 April 1962. The correspondence between Huxley and the society are kept at the Cambridge University Library. The society invited Huxley to appear at a banquet and give a lecture at Somerset House, London in June 1963. Huxley wrote a draft of the speech he intended to give at the society; however, his deteriorating health meant he would not be able to attend. Death On his deathbed, unable to speak due to advanced laryngeal cancer, Huxley made a written request to his wife Laura for "LSD, 100 µg, intramuscular". According to her account of his death, in This Timeless Moment, she obliged with an injection at 11:20 a.m. and a second dose an hour later; Huxley died aged 69, at 5:20 p.m. (Los Angeles time), on 22 November 1963. Media coverage of Huxley's passing — as with that of the author C. S. Lewis — was overshadowed by the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy on the same day. This coincidence served as the basis for Peter Kreeft's book Between Heaven and Hell: A Dialog Somewhere Beyond Death with John F. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis, & Aldous Huxley, which imagines a conversation among the three men taking place in Purgatory following their deaths. Huxley's memorial service took place in London in December 1963 which was led by his older brother Julian, and his ashes were interred in the family grave at the Watts Cemetery, home of the Watts Mortuary Chapel in Compton, a village near Guildford, Surrey, England. Huxley had been a long-time friend of famous Russian composer Igor Stravinsky, who later dedicated his last orchestral composition to Huxley. Stravinsky began Variations in Santa Fé, New Mexico in July 1963, and completed the composition in Hollywood on 28 October 1964. It was first performed in Chicago on 17 April 1965, by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Robert Craft. References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aldous_Huxley
Now, My Words: Past I'm an enthusiast and connoisseur of my passions for music, movies, fishing, hunting, and hiking in woods, mountains, what have you for clear mind and exploration of known and unknown realms of reality and fantasy through writing. My admiration for these endeavors comes from no product, mental or physical , at the event's end but an addictive high from the process of participating. Playing the drums or listening to guitar, acting or viewing, keeping or tossing, Taking or passing, seeking or denying. It has, is, and always will be at the hands of amusement through partaking in whatever occurrence. The passion of writing
Nathaniel Hawthorne (July 4, 1804 – May 19, 1864) was an American novelist, dark romantic, and short story writer. He was born in 1804 in Salem, Massachusetts to Nathaniel Hathorne and the former Elizabeth Clarke Manning. His ancestors include John Hathorne, the only judge involved in the Salem witch trials who never repented of his actions. He entered Bowdoin College in 1821, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in 1824, and graduated in 1825. He published his first work in 1828, the novel Fanshawe; he later tried to suppress it, feeling that it was not equal to the standard of his later work. He published several short stories in periodicals, which he collected in 1837 as Twice-Told Tales. The next year, he became engaged to Sophia Peabody. He worked at the Boston Custom House and joined Brook Farm, a transcendentalist community, before marrying Peabody in 1842. The couple moved to The Old Manse in Concord, Massachusetts, later moving to Salem, the Berkshires, then to The Wayside in Concord. The Scarlet Letter was published in 1850, followed by a succession of other novels. A political appointment as consul took Hawthorne and family to Europe before their return to Concord in 1860. Hawthorne died on May 19, 1864, and was survived by his wife and their three children. Much of Hawthorne’s writing centers on New England, many works featuring moral metaphors with an anti-Puritan inspiration. His fiction works are considered part of the Romantic movement and, more specifically, dark romanticism. His themes often center on the inherent evil and sin of humanity, and his works often have moral messages and deep psychological complexity. His published works include novels, short stories, and a biography of his college friend Franklin Pierce, the 14th President of the United States. Biography Early life Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804, in Salem, Massachusetts; his birthplace is preserved and open to the public. William Hathorne was the author’s great-great-great-grandfather. He was a Puritan and was the first of the family to emigrate from England, settling in Dorchester, Massachusetts before moving to Salem. There he became an important member of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and held many political positions, including magistrate and judge, becoming infamous for his harsh sentencing. William’s son and the author’s great-great-grandfather John Hathorne was one of the judges who oversaw the Salem witch trials. Hawthorne probably added the “w” to his surname in his early twenties, shortly after graduating from college, in an effort to dissociate himself from his notorious forebears. Hawthorne’s father Nathaniel Hathorne, Sr. was a sea captain who died in 1808 of yellow fever in Suriname; he had been a member of the East India Marine Society. After his death, his widow moved with young Nathaniel and two daughters to live with relatives named the Mannings in Salem, where they lived for 10 years. Young Hawthorne was hit on the leg while playing “bat and ball” on November 10, 1813, and he became lame and bedridden for a year, though several physicians could find nothing wrong with him. In the summer of 1816, the family lived as boarders with farmers before moving to a home recently built specifically for them by Hawthorne’s uncles Richard and Robert Manning in Raymond, Maine, near Sebago Lake. Years later, Hawthorne looked back at his time in Maine fondly: “Those were delightful days, for that part of the country was wild then, with only scattered clearings, and nine tenths of it primeval woods.” In 1819, he was sent back to Salem for school and soon complained of homesickness and being too far from his mother and sisters. He distributed seven issues of The Spectator to his family in August and September 1820 for the sake of having fun. The homemade newspaper was written by hand and included essays, poems, and news featuring the young author’s adolescent humor. Hawthorne’s uncle Robert Manning insisted that the boy attend college, despite Hawthorne’s protests. With the financial support of his uncle, Hawthorne was sent to Bowdoin College in 1821, partly because of family connections in the area, and also because of its relatively inexpensive tuition rate. Hawthorne met future president Franklin Pierce on the way to Bowdoin, at the stage stop in Portland, and the two became fast friends. Once at the school, he also met future poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, future congressman Jonathan Cilley, and future naval reformer Horatio Bridge. He graduated with the class of 1825, and later described his college experience to Richard Henry Stoddard: I was educated (as the phrase is) at Bowdoin College. I was an idle student, negligent of college rules and the Procrustean details of academic life, rather choosing to nurse my own fancies than to dig into Greek roots and be numbered among the learned Thebans. Early career In 1836, Hawthorne served as the editor of the American Magazine of Useful and Entertaining Knowledge. At the time, he boarded with poet Thomas Green Fessenden on Hancock Street in Beacon Hill in Boston. He was offered an appointment as weigher and gauger at the Boston Custom House at a salary of $1,500 a year, which he accepted on January 17, 1839. During his time there, he rented a room from George Stillman Hillard, business partner of Charles Sumner. Hawthorne wrote in the comparative obscurity of what he called his “owl’s nest” in the family home. As he looked back on this period of his life, he wrote: “I have not lived, but only dreamed about living.” He contributed short stories to various magazines and annuals, including “Young Goodman Brown” and “The Minister’s Black Veil”, though none drew major attention to him. Horatio Bridge offered to cover the risk of collecting these stories in the spring of 1837 into the volume Twice-Told Tales, which made Hawthorne known locally. Marriage and family While at Bowdoin, Hawthorne wagered a bottle of Madeira wine with his friend Jonathan Cilley that Cilley would get married before Hawthorne did. By 1836, he had won the bet, but he did not remain a bachelor for life. He had public flirtations with Mary Silsbee and Elizabeth Peabody, then he began pursuing Peabody’s sister, illustrator and transcendentalist Sophia Peabody. He joined the transcendentalist Utopian community at Brook Farm in 1841, not because he agreed with the experiment but because it helped him save money to marry Sophia. He paid a $1,000 deposit and was put in charge of shoveling the hill of manure referred to as “the Gold Mine”. He left later that year, though his Brook Farm adventure became an inspiration for his novel The Blithedale Romance. Hawthorne married Sophia Peabody on July 9, 1842 at a ceremony in the Peabody parlor on West Street in Boston. The couple moved to The Old Manse in Concord, Massachusetts, where they lived for three years. His neighbor Ralph Waldo Emerson invited him into his social circle, but Hawthorne was almost pathologically shy and stayed silent at gatherings. At the Old Manse, Hawthorne wrote most of the tales collected in Mosses from an Old Manse. Like Hawthorne, Sophia was a reclusive person. Throughout her early life, she had frequent migraines and underwent several experimental medical treatments. She was mostly bedridden until her sister introduced her to Hawthorne, after which her headaches seem to have abated. The Hawthornes enjoyed a long and happy marriage. He referred to her as his “Dove” and wrote that she “is, in the strictest sense, my sole companion; and I need no other—there is no vacancy in my mind, any more than in my heart... Thank God that I suffice for her boundless heart!” Sophia greatly admired her husband’s work. She wrote in one of her journals: I am always so dazzled and bewildered with the richness, the depth, the... jewels of beauty in his productions that I am always looking forward to a second reading where I can ponder and muse and fully take in the miraculous wealth of thoughts. Poet Ellery Channing came to the Old Manse for help on the first anniversary of the Hawthornes’ marriage. A local teenager named Martha Hunt had drowned herself in the river and Hawthorne’s boat Pond Lily was needed to find her body. Hawthorne helped recover the corpse, which he described as “a spectacle of such perfect horror... She was the very image of death-agony”. The incident later inspired a scene in his novel The Blithedale Romance. The Hawthornes had three children. Their first was daughter Una, born March 3, 1844; her name was a reference to The Faerie Queene, to the displeasure of family members. Hawthorne wrote to a friend, “I find it a very sober and serious kind of happiness that springs from the birth of a child... There is no escaping it any longer. I have business on earth now, and must look about me for the means of doing it.” In October 1845, the Hawthornes moved to Salem. In 1846, their son Julian was born. Hawthorne wrote to his sister Louisa on June 22, 1846: “A small troglodyte made his appearance here at ten minutes to six o’clock this morning, who claimed to be your nephew.” Daughter Rose was born in May 1851, and Hawthorne called her his “autumnal flower”. Middle years In April 1846, Hawthorne was officially appointed as the “Surveyor for the District of Salem and Beverly and Inspector of the Revenue for the Port of Salem” at an annual salary of $1,200. He had difficulty writing during this period, as he admitted to Longfellow: I am trying to resume my pen... Whenever I sit alone, or walk alone, I find myself dreaming about stories, as of old; but these forenoons in the Custom House undo all that the afternoons and evenings have done. I should be happier if I could write. This employment, like his earlier appointment to the custom house in Boston, was vulnerable to the politics of the spoils system. Hawthorne was a Democrat and lost this job due to the change of administration in Washington after the presidential election of 1848. He wrote a letter of protest to the Boston Daily Advertiser which was attacked by the Whigs and supported by the Democrats, making Hawthorne’s dismissal a much-talked about event in New England. He was deeply affected by the death of his mother in late July, calling it “the darkest hour I ever lived”. He was appointed the corresponding secretary of the Salem Lyceum in 1848. Guests who came to speak that season included Emerson, Thoreau, Louis Agassiz, and Theodore Parker. Hawthorne returned to writing and published The Scarlet Letter in mid-March 1850, including a preface that refers to his three-year tenure in the Custom House and makes several allusions to local politicians—who did not appreciate their treatment. It was one of the first mass-produced books in America, selling 2,500 volumes within ten days and earning Hawthorne $1,500 over 14 years. The book was pirated by booksellers in London and became a best-seller in the United States; it initiated his most lucrative period as a writer. Hawthorne’s friend Edwin Percy Whipple objected to the novel’s “morbid intensity” and its dense psychological details, writing that the book “is therefore apt to become, like Hawthorne, too painfully anatomical in his exhibition of them”, though 20th-century writer D. H. Lawrence said that there could be no more perfect work of the American imagination than The Scarlet Letter. Hawthorne and his family moved to a small red farmhouse near Lenox, Massachusetts at the end of March 1850. He became friends with Herman Melville beginning on August 5, 1850 when the authors met at a picnic hosted by a mutual friend. Melville had just read Hawthorne’s short story collection Mosses from an Old Manse, and his unsigned review of the collection was printed in The Literary World on August 17 and August 24 entitled “Hawthorne and His Mosses”. Melville was composing Moby-Dick at the time, and he wrote that these stories revealed a dark side to Hawthorne, “shrouded in blackness, ten times black”. Melville dedicated Moby-Dick (1851) to Hawthorne: “In token of my admiration for his genius, this book is inscribed to Nathaniel Hawthorne.” Hawthorne’s time in the Berkshires was very productive. While there, he wrote The House of the Seven Gables (1851), which poet and critic James Russell Lowell said was better than The Scarlet Letter and called “the most valuable contribution to New England history that has been made.” He also wrote The Blithedale Romance (1852), his only work written in the first person. He also published A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys in 1851, a collection of short stories retelling myths which he had been thinking about writing since 1846. Nevertheless, poet Ellery Channing reported that Hawthorne “has suffered much living in this place”. The family enjoyed the scenery of the Berkshires, although Hawthorne did not enjoy the winters in their small house. They left on November 21, 1851. Hawthorne noted, “I am sick to death of Berkshire... I have felt languid and dispirited, during almost my whole residence.” The Wayside and Europe In May 1852, the Hawthornes returned to Concord where they lived until July 1853. In February, they bought The Hillside, a home previously inhabited by Amos Bronson Alcott and his family, and renamed it The Wayside. Their neighbors in Concord included Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. That year, Hawthorne wrote The Life of Franklin Pierce, the campaign biography of his friend which depicted him as “a man of peaceful pursuits”. Horace Mann said, “If he makes out Pierce to be a great man or a brave man, it will be the greatest work of fiction he ever wrote.” In the biography, Hawthorne depicts Pierce as a statesman and soldier who had accomplished no great feats because of his need to make “little noise” and so “withdrew into the background”. He also left out Pierce’s drinking habits, despite rumors of his alcoholism, and emphasized Pierce’s belief that slavery could not “be remedied by human contrivances” but would, over time, “vanish like a dream”. With Pierce’s election as President, Hawthorne was rewarded in 1853 with the position of United States consul in Liverpool shortly after the publication of Tanglewood Tales. The role was considered the most lucrative foreign service position at the time, described by Hawthorne’s wife as “second in dignity to the Embassy in London”. His appointment ended in 1857 at the close of the Pierce administration, and the Hawthorne family toured France and Italy. During his time in Italy, the previously clean-shaven Hawthorne grew a bushy mustache. The family returned to The Wayside in 1860, and that year saw the publication of The Marble Faun, his first new book in seven years. Hawthorne admitted that he had aged considerably, referring to himself as “wrinkled with time and trouble”. Later years and death At the outset of the American Civil War, Hawthorne traveled with William D. Ticknor to Washington, D.C. where he met Abraham Lincoln and other notable figures. He wrote about his experiences in the essay “Chiefly About War Matters” in 1862. Failing health prevented him from completing several more romances. Hawthorne was suffering from pain in his stomach and insisted on a recuperative trip with his friend Franklin Pierce, though his neighbor Bronson Alcott was concerned that Hawthorne was too ill. While on a tour of the White Mountains, he died in his sleep on May 19, 1864 in Plymouth, New Hampshire. Pierce sent a telegram to Elizabeth Peabody asking her to inform Mrs. Hawthorne in person. Mrs. Hawthorne was too saddened by the news to handle the funeral arrangements herself. Hawthorne’s son Julian was a freshman at Harvard College, and he learned of his father’s death the next day; coincidentally, he was initiated into the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity on the same day by being blindfolded and placed in a coffin. Longfellow wrote a tribute poem to Hawthorne published in 1866 called “The Bells of Lynn”. Hawthorne was buried on what is now known as “Authors’ Ridge” in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord, Massachusetts. Pallbearers included Longfellow, Emerson, Alcott, Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., James Thomas Fields, and Edwin Percy Whipple. Emerson wrote of the funeral: "I thought there was a tragic element in the event, that might be more fully rendered—in the painful solitude of the man, which, I suppose, could no longer be endured, & he died of it.” His wife Sophia and daughter Una were originally buried in England. However, in June 2006, they were reinterred in plots adjacent to Hawthorne. Writings Hawthorne had a particularly close relationship with his publishers William Ticknor and James Thomas Fields. Hawthorne once told Fields, “I care more for your good opinion than for that of a host of critics.” In fact, it was Fields who convinced Hawthorne to turn The Scarlet Letter into a novel rather than a short story. Ticknor handled many of Hawthorne’s personal matters, including the purchase of cigars, overseeing financial accounts, and even purchasing clothes. Ticknor died with Hawthorne at his side in Philadelphia in 1864; according to a friend, Hawthorne was left “apparently dazed”. Literary style and themes Hawthorne’s works belong to romanticism or, more specifically, dark romanticism, cautionary tales that suggest that guilt, sin, and evil are the most inherent natural qualities of humanity. Many of his works are inspired by Puritan New England, combining historical romance loaded with symbolism and deep psychological themes, bordering on surrealism. His depictions of the past are a version of historical fiction used only as a vehicle to express common themes of ancestral sin, guilt and retribution. His later writings also reflect his negative view of the Transcendentalism movement. Hawthorne was predominantly a short story writer in his early career. Upon publishing Twice-Told Tales, however, he noted, “I do not think much of them,” and he expected little response from the public. His four major romances were written between 1850 and 1860: The Scarlet Letter (1850), The House of the Seven Gables (1851), The Blithedale Romance (1852) and The Marble Faun (1860). Another novel-length romance, Fanshawe, was published anonymously in 1828. Hawthorne defined a romance as being radically different from a novel by not being concerned with the possible or probable course of ordinary experience. In the preface to The House of the Seven Gables, Hawthorne describes his romance-writing as using “atmospherical medium as to bring out or mellow the lights and deepen and enrich the shadows of the picture”. Critics have applied feminist perspectives and historicist approaches to Hawthorne’s depictions of women. Feminist scholars are interested particularly in Hester Prynne, who realized that she herself could not be the “destined prophetess,” but that “angel and apostle of the coming revelation” must be a woman." Camille Paglia saw Hester as mystical, “a wandering goddess still bearing the mark of her Asiatic origins... moving serenely in the magic circle of her sexual nature”. Lauren Berlant termed Hester "the citizen as woman [personifying] love as a quality of the body that contains the purest light of nature," her resulting “traitorous political theory” a “Female Symbolic” literalization of futile Puritan metaphors. Historicists view Hester as a protofeminist and avatar of the self-reliance and responsibility that led to women’s suffrage and reproductive emancipation. Anthony Splendora found her literary genealogy among other archetypally fallen but redeemed women, both historic and mythic. As examples, he offers Psyche of ancient legend; Heloise of twelfth-century France’s tragedy involving world-renowned philosopher Peter Abelard; Anne Hutchinson (America’s first heretic, circa 1636), and Hawthorne family friend Margaret Fuller. In Hester’s first appearance, Hawthorne likens her, “infant at her bosom”, to Mary, Mother of Jesus, “the image of Divine Maternity”. In her study of Victorian literature, in which such “galvanic outcasts” as Hester feature prominently, Nina Auerbach went so far as to name Hester’s fall and subsequent redemption, “the novel’s one unequivocally religious activity”. Regarding Hester as a deity figure, Meredith A. Powers found in Hester’s characterization “the earliest in American fiction that the archetypal Goddess appears quite graphically,” like a Goddess “not the wife of traditional marriage, permanently subject to a male overlord”; Powers noted “her syncretism, her flexibility, her inherent ability to alter and so avoid the defeat of secondary status in a goal-oriented civilization”. Aside from Hester Prynne, the model women of Hawthorne’s other novels—from Ellen Langton of Fanshawe to Zenobia and Priscilla of The Blithedale Romance, Hilda and Miriam of The Marble Faun and Phoebe and Hepzibah of The House of the Seven Gables—are more fully realized than his male characters, who merely orbit them. This observation is equally true of his short-stories, in which central females serve as allegorical figures: Rappaccini’s beautiful but life-altering, garden-bound, daughter; almost-perfect Georgiana of “The Birthmark”; the sinned-against (abandoned) Ester of “Ethan Brand”; and goodwife Faith Brown, linchpin of Young Goodman Brown’s very belief in God. “My Faith is gone!” Brown exclaims in despair upon seeing his wife at the Witches’ Sabbath.. Hawthorne also wrote nonfiction. In 2008, Library of America selected Hawthorne’s “A show of wax-figures” for inclusion in its two-century retrospective of American True Crime. Criticism Edgar Allan Poe wrote important, and somewhat unflattering, reviews of both Twice-Told Tales and Mosses from an Old Manse. Poe’s negative assessment was partly due to his own contempt of allegory and moral tales, and his chronic accusations of plagiarism, though he admitted, The style of Mr. Hawthorne is purity itself. His tone is singularly effective—wild, plaintive, thoughtful, and in full accordance with his themes... We look upon him as one of the few men of indisputable genius to whom our country has as yet given birth. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Nathaniel Hawthorne’s reputation as a writer is a very pleasing fact, because his writing is not good for anything, and this is a tribute to the man.” Henry James praised Hawthorne, saying, “The fine thing in Hawthorne is that he cared for the deeper psychology, and that, in his way, he tried to become familiar with it.” Poet John Greenleaf Whittier wrote that he admired the “weird and subtle beauty” in Hawthorne’s tales. Evert Augustus Duyckinck said of Hawthorne, “Of the American writers destined to live, he is the most original, the one least indebted to foreign models or literary precedents of any kind.” Contemporary response to Hawthorne’s work praised his sentimentality and moral purity while more modern evaluations focus on the dark psychological complexity. Beginning in the 1950s, critics have focused on symbolism and didacticism. The critic Harold Bloom has opined that only Henry James and William Faulkner challenge Hawthorne’s position as the greatest American novelist, although he admits that he favors James as the greatest American novelist. Bloom sees Hawthorne’s greatest works to be principally The Scarlet Letter, followed by The Marble Faun and certain short stories, including “My Kinsman, Major Molineux”, “Young Goodman Brown”, “Wakefield”, and “Feathertop”. Selected works * The “definitive edition” of Hawthorne’s works is The Centenary Edition of the Works of Nathaniel Hawthorne, edited by William Charvat and others, published by The Ohio State University Press in twenty-three volumes between 1962 and 1997. Tales and Sketches (1982) was the second volume to be published in the Library of America, Collected Novels (1983) the tenth. Novels * Fanshawe (published anonymously, 1828) * The New Adam and Eve (1843) * The Scarlet Letter (1850) * The House of the Seven Gables (1851) * The Blithedale Romance (1852) * The Marble Faun: Or, The Romance of Monte Beni (1860) (as Transformation: Or, The Romance of Monte Beni, UK publication, same year) * The Dolliver Romance (1863) (unfinished) * Septimius Felton; or, the Elixir of Life (unfinished, published in the Atlantic Monthly, 1872) * Doctor Grimshawe’s Secret: A Romance (unfinished, with preface and notes by Julian Hawthorne, 1882) Short story collections * Twice-Told Tales (1837) * Grandfather’s Chair (1840) * Mosses from an Old Manse (1846) * A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys (1851) * The Snow-Image, and Other Twice-Told Tales (1852) * Tanglewood Tales (1853) * The Dolliver Romance and Other Pieces (1876) * The Great Stone Face and Other Tales of the White Mountains (1889) Selected short stories * “Roger Malvin’s Burial” (1832) * “My Kinsman, Major Molineux” (1832) * “The Minister’s Black Veil” (1832) * “Young Goodman Brown” (1835) * “The Gray Champion” (1835) * “The White Old Maid” (1835) * “Wakefield” (1835) * “The Ambitious Guest” (1835) * “The Man of Adamant” (1837) * “The May-Pole of Merry Mount” (1837) * “The Great Carbuncle” (1837) * “Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment” (1837) * “A Virtuoso’s Collection” (May 1842) * “The Birth-Mark” (March 1843) * “The Celestial Railroad” (1843) * “Egotism; or, The Bosom-Serpent” (1843) * “Rappaccini’s Daughter” (1844) * “P.'s Correspondence” (1845) * “The Artist of the Beautiful” (1846) * “Fire Worship” (1846) * “Ethan Brand” (1850) * “The Great Stone Face” (1850) * “Feathertop” (1852) Nonfiction * Twenty Days with Julian & Little Bunny (written 1851, published 1904) * Our Old Home (1863) * Passages from the French and Italian Notebooks (1871) References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nathaniel_Hawthorne
Gerard Manley Hopkins (28 July 1844 – 8 June 1889) was an English poet, Roman Catholic convert, and Jesuit priest, whose posthumous fame established him among the leading Victorian poets. His experimental explorations in prosody (especially sprung rhythm) and his use of imagery established him as a daring innovator in a period of largely traditional verse. Early life and family Gerard Manley Hopkins was born in Stratford, Essex, (now in Greater London) as the first of nine children to Manley and Catherine (Smith) Hopkins. His father founded a marine insurance firm and, at one time, was the British consul general in Hawaii. He was also, for a time, the church warden at St John-at-Hampstead and a published writer whose works included A Philosopher's Stone and Other Poems (1843), Pietas Metrica (1849), and Spicelegium Poeticum, A Gathering of Verses by Manley Hopkins (1892). He reviewed poetry for The Times and wrote one novel. Catherine (Smith) Hopkins was the daughter of a London physician, particularly fond of music and of reading, especially German philosophy, literature and the novels of Dickens. Both parents were deeply religious High Church Anglicans. Catherine's sister, Maria Smith Giberne, taught her nephew Gerard to sketch. The interest was supported by his uncle, Edward Smith, his great-uncle, the professional artist Richard James Lane and many other family members. Hopkins's first ambitions were to be a painter, and he would continue to sketch throughout his life, inspired, as an adult, by the work of John Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelites. Hopkins became a skilled draughtsman and found that his early training in visual art supported his later work as a poet. His siblings were greatly inspired by language, religion and the creative arts. Milicent (1849–1946) joined an Anglican sisterhood in 1878. Kate (1856–1933) would go on to help Hopkins publish the first edition of his poetry. Hopkins's youngest sister Grace (1857–1945) set many of his poems to music. Lionel (1854–1952) became a world-famous expert on archaic and colloquial Chinese. Arthur (1847–1930) and Everard (1860–1928) were both highly successful artists. Cyril (1846–1932) would join his father's insurance firm. Manley Hopkins moved his family to Hampstead in 1852, near to where John Keats had lived thirty years before and close to the wide green spaces of Hampstead Heath. At ten years old Gerard Manley Hopkins was sent to board at Highgate School (1854–1863) and, while studying Keats's poetry, composed "The Escorial" (1860), his earliest poem extant. Here he practised early attempts at asceticism. He once argued that most people drank more liquids than they really needed and bet that he could go without drinking for a week. He persisted until his tongue was black and he collapsed at drill. On another occasion, he abstained from salt for a week. Oxford and the priesthood At Balliol College, Oxford (1863–67) he studied classics. Hopkins was an unusually sensitive student and poet, as witnessed by his class-notes and early poetic pieces. It was at Oxford that he forged a lifelong friendship with Robert Bridges (eventual Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom) which would be of importance in his development as a poet, and his posthumous acclaim. Hopkins was deeply impressed with the work of Christina Rossetti and she became one of his greatest contemporary influences, meeting him in 1864. During this time he studied with the prestigious writer and critic Walter Pater, who tutored him in 1866 and who remained a friend till September 1879 when Hopkins left Oxford. Hopkins began his time in Oxford as a keen socialite and prolific poet, but he seemed to have alarmed himself with the changes in his behaviour that resulted, and he became more studious and began recording his "sins" in his diary. As an undergraduate he engaged in friendships that may be viewed as romantic, though they tended to be idealised and spiritualised. In particular, he found it hard to accept his sexual attraction to other men, including a deep infatuation for Digby Mackworth Dolben. There is nothing to suggest, however, any physical consummation and indeed he seems to have remained celibate throughout his life. He exercised a strict self-control in regard to his homosexual desire, especially after he became a follower of Henry Parry Liddon and of Edward Pusey, the last member of the original Oxford Movement. It was during this time of intense scrupulosity that Hopkins seems to have especially begun confronting his strong homoerotic impulses and began to consider choosing the cloister. On 18 January 1866 Hopkins composed his most ascetic poem, The Habit of Perfection. On 23 January he included poetry in the list of things to be given up for Lent. In July he decided to become a Catholic, and he traveled to Birmingham in September to consult the leader of the Oxford converts, John Henry Newman. Newman received him into the Church on 21 October 1866. On 5 May 1868 Hopkins firmly "resolved to be a religious." Less than a week later, he made a bonfire of his poems and gave up poetry almost entirely for seven years. The decision to convert estranged him from both his family and a number of his acquaintances. After his graduation in 1867 Hopkins was provided a teaching post at the Oratory in Birmingham by Newman. While there he was inspired to begin teaching himself the violin. He also felt the call to enter the ministry and decided to become a Jesuit, pausing only to visit Switzerland, which officially forbade Jesuits to enter. Hopkins began his novitiate in the Society of Jesus at Manresa House, Roehampton, in September 1868 and moved to St. Mary's Hall, Stonyhurst, for his philosophical studies in 1870, taking vows of poverty, chastity and obedience on 8 September 1870. Writing would remain something of a concern for him as he felt that his interest in poetry prevented him from wholly devoting himself to his religion. However, after reading Duns Scotus in 1872, he saw that the two did not necessarily conflict. He continued to write a detailed prose journal between 1868 and 1875. Unable to suppress his desire to describe the natural world, he also wrote music, sketched, and for church occasions he wrote some "verses," as he called them. He would later write sermons and other religious pieces. In 1874 he returned to Manresa House to teach classics. While he was studying in the Jesuit house of theological studies, St Beuno's, near St Asaph in North Wales, he was asked by his religious superior to write a poem to commemorate the foundering of a German ship in a storm. So in 1875 he was moved to take up poetry once more and write a lengthy poem, The Wreck of the Deutschland. This work was inspired by the Deutschland incident, a maritime disaster in which 157 people died including five Franciscan nuns who had been leaving Germany due to harsh anti-Catholic laws (see Kulturkampf). The work displays both the religious concerns and some of the unusual meter and rhythms of his subsequent poetry not present in his few remaining early works. It not only depicts the dramatic events and heroic deeds but also tells of the poet's reconciling the terrible events with God's higher purpose. The poem was accepted but not printed by a Jesuit publication, and this rejection fuelled his ambivalence about his poetry. Most of his poetry remained unpublished until after his death. Hopkins chose the austere and restrictive life of a Jesuit and was at times gloomy. The brilliant student who had left Oxford with a first class honours degree failed his final theology exam. This failure almost certainly meant that, though ordained in 1877, Hopkins would not progress in the order. In 1877 he wrote God’s Grandeur, an array of sonnets including The Starlight Night and finished The Windhover only a few months before his ordination. Though rigorous, isolated and sometimes unpleasant, his life during Jesuit training had at least some stability; the uncertain and varied work after ordination was even harder on his sensibilities. In October 1877, not long after he completed “The Sea and the Skylark” and only a month after he had been ordained as a priest, Hopkins took up his duties as subminister and teacher at Mount St. Mary’s College, Chesterfield. In July 1878 he became curate at the Jesuit church in Mount Street, London. In December he became curate at St. Aloysius’s Church, Oxford, then moving to Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow. Whilst ministering in Oxford he became a founding member of Oxford University Newman Society, a society established in 1878 for the Catholic members of Oxford University. He taught Greek and Latin at Mount St Mary's College, Sheffield, and Stonyhurst College, Lancashire. In 1884 he became professor of Greek and Latin at University College Dublin. His English roots and his disagreement with the Irish politics of the time, as well as his own small stature (5'2"), unprepossessing nature and personal oddities meant that he was not a particularly effective teacher. This as well as his isolation in Ireland deepened his gloom and his poems of the time, such as I Wake and Feel the Fell of Dark, reflected this. They came to be known as the "terrible sonnets," not because of their quality but because according to Hopkins's friend Canon Dixon, they reached the "terrible crystal," meaning that they crystallized the melancholy dejection which plagued the later part of Hopkins' life. Final years Several problems conspired to depress Hopkins's spirits and restrict his poetic inspiration during the last five years of his life. His work load was extremely heavy. He disliked living in Dublin, away from England and friends. His general health deteriorated as his eyesight began to fail. He felt confined and dejected. As a devout Jesuit, he found himself in an artistic dilemma. To subdue any egotism which would violate the humility required by his religious position, he decided never to publish his poems. But Hopkins realized that any true poet requires an audience for criticism and encouragement. This conflict between his religious obligations and his poetic talent caused him to feel that he had failed them both. After suffering ill health for several years and bouts of diarrhoea, Hopkins died of typhoid fever in 1889 and was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, following his funeral in Saint Francis Xavier Church on Gardiner Street, located in Georgian Dublin. He is thought to have suffered throughout his life from what today might be diagnosed as either bipolar disorder or chronic unipolar depression, and battled a deep sense of melancholic anguish. However, on his death bed, his last words were, "I am so happy, I am so happy. I loved my life." Poetry Sprung rhythm Much of Hopkins's historical importance has to do with the changes he brought to the form of poetry, which ran contrary to conventional ideas of metre. Prior to Hopkins, most Middle English and Modern English poetry was based on a rhythmic structure inherited from the Norman side of English literary heritage. This structure is based on repeating groups of two or three syllables, with the stressed syllable falling in the same place on each repetition. Hopkins called this structure "running rhythm", and though he wrote some of his early verse in running rhythm he became fascinated with the older rhythmic structure of the Anglo-Saxon tradition, of which Beowulf is the most famous example. Hopkins called his own rhythmic structure sprung rhythm. Sprung rhythm is structured around feet with a variable number of syllables, generally between one and four syllables per foot, with the stress always falling on the first syllable in a foot. It is similar to the "rolling stresses" of Robinson Jeffers, another poet who rejected conventional metre. Hopkins saw sprung rhythm as a way to escape the constraints of running rhythm, which he said inevitably pushed poetry written in it to become "same and tame." In this way, Hopkins can be seen as anticipating much of free verse. His work has no great affinity with either of the contemporary Pre-Raphaelite and neo-romanticism schools, although he does share their descriptive love of nature and he is often seen as a precursor to modernist poetry or as a bridge between the two poetic eras. Use of language The language of Hopkins’s poems is often striking. His imagery can be simple, as in Heaven-Haven, where the comparison is between a nun entering a convent and a ship entering a harbour out of a storm. It can be splendidly metaphysical and intricate, as it is in As Kingfishers Catch Fire, where he leaps from one image to another to show how each thing expresses its own uniqueness, and how divinity reflects itself through all of them. He uses many archaic and dialect words, but also coins new words. One example of this is twindles, which seems from its context in Inversnaid to mean a combination of twines and dwindles. He often creates compound adjectives, sometimes with a hyphen (such as dapple-dawn-drawn falcon) but often without, as in rolling level underneath him steady air. This concentrates his images, communicating the instress of the poet’s perceptions of an inscape to his reader. Hopkins was a supporter of linguistic purism in English. In an 1882 letter to Robert Bridges, Hopkins writes: "It makes one weep to think what English might have been; for in spite of all that Shakespeare and Milton have done [...] no beauty in a language can make up for want of purity". He took time to learn Old English, which became a major influence on his writing. In the same letter to Bridges he calls Old English "a vastly superior thing to what we have now". Added richness comes from Hopkins’s extensive use of alliteration, assonance, onomatopoeia and rhyme, both at the end of lines and internally as in: As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; As tumbled over rim in roundy wells Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name; Hopkins was influenced by the Welsh language that he acquired while studying theology at St Beuno's College near St Asaph. The poetic forms of Welsh literature and particularly cynghanedd with its emphasis on repeating sounds accorded with his own style and became a prominent feature of his work. This reliance on similar sounding words with close or differing senses mean that his poems are best understood if read aloud. An important element in his work is Hopkins's own concept of "inscape" which was derived, in part, from the medieval theologian Duns Scotus. The exact detail of "inscape" is uncertain and probably known to Hopkins alone but it has to do with the individual essence and uniqueness of every physical thing. This is communicated from an object by its "instress" and ensures the transmission of the item's importance in the wider creation. His poems would then try to present this "inscape" so that a poem like The Windhover aims to depict not the bird in general but instead one instance and its relation to the breeze. This is just one interpretation of Hopkins's most famous poem, one which he felt was his best. During his lifetime, Hopkins published few poems. It was only through the efforts of Robert Bridges that his works were seen. Despite Hopkins burning all his poems on entering the Jesuit novitiate, he had already sent some to Bridges who, with a few other friends, was one of the few people to see many of them for some years. After Hopkins's death they were distributed to a wider audience, mostly fellow poets, and in 1918 Bridges, by then poet laureate, published a collected edition; an expanded edition, prepared by Charles Williams, appeared in 1930, and a greatly expanded edition by William Henry Gardner appeared in 1948 (eventually reaching a fourth edition, 1967, with N. H. Mackenzie). Notable collections of Hopkins's manuscripts and publications are in Campion Hall, Oxford; the Bodleian Library, Oxford; and the Foley Library at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. Erotic influences Some contemporary critics believe that Hopkins's suppressed erotic impulses played an important role in the tone, quality and even content of his works. These impulses seem to have taken on a degree of specificity after he met Robert Bridges's distant cousin, friend, and fellow Etonian Digby Mackworth Dolben, "a Christian Uranian". The Hopkins biographer Robert Bernard Martin asserts that when Hopkins first met Dolben, on Dolben's 17th birthday, in Oxford in February 1865, it "was, quite simply, the most momentous emotional event of [his] undergraduate years, probably of his entire life." Hopkins was completely taken with Dolben, who was nearly four years his junior, and his private journal for confessions the following year proves how absorbed he was in imperfectly suppressed erotic thoughts of him. Hopkins kept up a correspondence with Dolben, wrote about him in his diary and composed two poems about him, "Where art thou friend" and "The Beginning of the End." Robert Bridges, who edited the first edition of Dolben's poems as well as Hopkins's, cautioned that the second poem "must never be printed," though Bridges himself included it in the first edition (1918). Another indication of the nature of his feelings for Dolben is that Hopkins's High Anglican confessor seems to have forbidden him to have any contact with Dolben except by letter. Their relationship was abruptly ended by Dolben's drowning in June 1867, an event which greatly affected Hopkins, although his feeling for Dolben seems to have cooled a good deal by that time. "Ironically, fate may have bestowed more through Dolben’s death than it could ever have bestowed through longer life ... [for] many of Hopkins’s best poems — impregnated with an elegiac longing for Dolben, his lost belovèd and his muse — were the result." Some of his poems, such as The Bugler's First Communion and Epithalamion, arguably embody homoerotic themes, although this second poem was arranged by Robert Bridges from extant fragments. One contemporary literary critic, M.M. Kaylor, has argued for Hopkins's inclusion with the Uranian poets, a group whose writings derived, in many ways, from the prose works of Walter Pater, Hopkins's academic coach for his Greats exams, and later his lifelong friend. Some critics have argued that homoerotic readings are either highly tendentious, or, that they can be classified under the broader category of "homosociality," over the gender, sexual-specific "homosexual" term. Hopkins’s journal writings, they argue, offer a clear admiration for feminized beauty. In his book Hopkins Reconstructed (2000) Justus George Lawler critiques Robert Martin’s controversial biography Gerard Manley Hopkins: A Very Private Life (1991) by suggesting that Martin "cannot see the heterosexual beam... for the homosexual biographical mote in his own eye... it amounts to a slanted eisegesis". The poems that elicit homoerotic readings can be read not merely as exercises in sublimation but as powerful renditions of religious conviction, a conviction that caused strain in his family and even led him to burn some of his poems that he felt were unnecessarily self-centered. Julia Saville’s book A Queer Chivalry views the religious imagery in the poems as Hopkins’s way of expressing the tension with homosexual identity and desire. The male figure of Christ allows him to safely express such feelings, which mitigates the political implications. Cultural Influences One example of Hopkins's influence can be heard in the song "Bright Wings" by the industrial-metal-hyper-soul band Mortal on their 1993 CD release Fathom. The song is an abbreviated version of Hopkins's poem "God's Grandeur". References Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerard_Manley_Hopkins
William Ernest Henley (23 August 1849 – 11 July 1903) was an English poet, critic and editor, best remembered for his 1875 poem "Invictus". Life and career Henley was born in Gloucester and was the oldest of a family of six children, five sons and a daughter. His father, William, a bookseller and stationer, died in 1868 and was survived by young children and creditors. His mother, Mary Morgan, was descended from the poet and critic Joseph Wharton. Between 1861 and 1867, Henley was a pupil at the Crypt Grammar School (founded 1539). A commission had recently attempted to revive the school by securing as headmaster the brilliant and academically distinguished T. E. Brown (1830–1897). Though Brown's tenure was relatively brief (c.1857–63), he was a "revelation" to Henley because the poet was "a man of genius—the first I'd ever seen". Brown and Henley began a lifelong friendship, and Henley wrote an admiring obituary to Brown in the New Review (December 1897): "He was singularly kind to me at a moment when I needed kindness even more than I needed encouragement". From the age of 12, Henley suffered from tuberculosis of the bone that resulted in the amputation of his left leg below the knee in 1868–69. According to Robert Louis Stevenson's letters, the idea for the character of Long John Silver was inspired by Stevenson's real-life friend Henley. Stevenson's stepson, Lloyd Osbourne, described Henley as "... a great, glowing, massive-shouldered fellow with a big red beard and a crutch; jovial, astoundingly clever, and with a laugh that rolled like music; he had an unimaginable fire and vitality; he swept one off one's feet". In a letter to Henley after the publication of Treasure Island, Stevenson wrote, "I will now make a confession: It was the sight of your maimed strength and masterfulness that begot Long John Silver ... the idea of the maimed man, ruling and dreaded by the sound, was entirely taken from you." Frequent illness often kept him from school, although the misfortunes of his father's business may also have contributed. In 1867, Henley passed the Oxford Local Schools Examination and soon moved to London where he attempted to establish himself as a journalist. However, his work over the next eight years was interrupted by long stays in the hospital because his right foot had also grown diseased. Henley contested the diagnosis that a second amputation was the only means to save his life by seeking a consultation with the pioneering surgeon Joseph Lister (1827–1912) at The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. After three years in the hospital (1873–75), during which Henley wrote and published the poems collected as In Hospital, he was discharged. Although Lister's treatment had not effected a complete cure, Henley enjoyed a relatively active life for nearly thirty more years. On 22 January 1878, he married Hannah (Anna) Johnson Boyle (1855–1925), the youngest daughter of Edward Boyle, a mechanical engineer from Edinburgh, and his wife, Mary Ann née Mackie. Henley's sickly young daughter, Margaret Henley (born 4 September 1888), was immortalized by J. M. Barrie in his children's classic, Peter Pan: Unable to speak clearly, young Margaret had called her friend Barrie her "fwendy-wendy", resulting in the use of "Wendy" in the book. Tragically, Margaret didn't survive long enough to read the book; she died on 11 February 1894 at the age of five and was buried at the country estate of her father's friend, Harry Cockayne Cust, in Cockayne Hatley, Bedfordshire. After his recovery, Henley earned his living as a publisher. In 1889 he became editor of the Scots Observer, an Edinburgh journal of the arts and current events and precursor of the National Observer (UK) (UK). After its headquarters were transferred to London in 1891, it became the National Observer and remained under Henley's editorship until 1893. The paper had almost as many writers as readers, said Henley, and its fame was confined mainly to the literary class, but it was a lively and influential contributor to the literary life of its era. Henley had an editor's gift for identifying new talent, and "the men of the Scots Observer," said Henley affectionately, usually justified his support. Charles Whibley was Henley's friend and helped him edit the Observer. Like its descendant, the journal's outlook was conservative and often sympathetic to the growing imperialism of its time. Among other services to literature it published Rudyard Kipling's Barrack-Room Ballads. Henley died of tuberculosis in 1903 at the age of 53 at his home in Woking, and his ashes were interred in his daughter's grave in the churchyard at Cockayne Hatley in Bedfordshire. Works Arguably his best-remembered work is the poem "Invictus", written in 1875. It is said that this was written as a demonstration of his resilience following the amputation of his foot due to tubercular infection. This passionate and defiant poem should be compared with his beautiful and contemplative acceptance of death and dying in the poem "Margaritae Sorori". The poems of In Hospital are also noteworthy as some of the earliest free verse written in England. With J.S. Farmer Henley edited a seven volume dictionary of Slang and its analogues which inspired his two translations into thieves' slang of ballades by François Villon. In 1890, Henley published Views and Reviews, a volume of notable criticisms, which he described as "less a book than a mosaic of scraps and shreds recovered from the shot rubbish of some fourteen years of journalism". The criticisms, covering a wide range of authors (all English or French save Heinrich Heine and Leo Tolstoy) were remarkable for their insight. In 1892, he published a second volume of poetry, named after the first poem, "The Song of the Sword" but re-titled "London Voluntaries" after another section in the second edition (1893). Robert Louis Stevenson wrote that he had not received the same thrill of poetry so intimate and so deep since George Meredith's "Joy of Earth" and "Love in the Valley". "I did not guess you were so great a magician. These are new tunes; this is an undertone of the true Apollo. These are not verse; they are poetry". During 1892, Henley also published three plays written with Stevenson: Beau Austin, Deacon Brodie and Admiral Guinea. In 1895, Henley's poem, "Macaire", was published in a volume with the other plays. Deacon Brodie was produced in Edinburgh in 1884 and later in London. Herbert Beerbohm Tree produced Beau Austin at the Haymarket on 3 November 1890. Henley's poem, "Pro Rege Nostro", became popular during the First World War as a piece of patriotic verse. It contains the following refrain: What have I done for you, England, my England? What is there I would not do, England my own? The poem and its sentiments have since been parodied by those unhappy with the jingoism they feel it expresses or the propagandistic use it is put to. "England, My England", a short story by D. H. Lawrence and also England, Their England the novel by A. G. Macdonell both use the phrase. While incarcerated on Robben Island prison, Nelson Mandela recited the poem "Invictus" to other prisoners and was empowered by its message of self-mastery. In the 2009 movie Invictus, produced and directed by Clint Eastwood, the poem is referenced several times. It becomes the central inspirational gift from Mandela, played by Morgan Freeman, to Springbok rugby team captain François Pienaar, played by Matt Damon, in advance of the post-apartheid Rugby World Cup hosted in 1995 by South Africa and won by the underdog Springboks. The famous Finnish female writer Hella Wuolijoki has mentioned in her memoirs Enkä ollut vanki that the poem "Invictus" also inspired and encouraged her during her incarceration in Katajanokka/Skatudden prison in Helsinki at the end of World War II. References Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Ernest_Henley
John Hartley (1839-1915) was an English poet who worked in the Yorkshire dialect. He wrote a great deal of prose and poetry – often of a sentimental nature – dealing with the poverty of the district. He was born in Halifax, West Yorkshire. Hartly wrote and edited the Original Illuminated Clock Almanack from 1866 to his death. Most of Hartley’s works are written in dialect. Hartley wrote a number of books featuring the character “Sammywell Grimes”, who has a number of adventures and suffers unfortunate mishaps. Works * Yorkshire Ditties, First Series * Yorkshire Ditties, Second Series * Yorkshire Tales, First Series * Yorkshire Tales, Second Series * Yorkshire Tales, Third Series * Yorkshire Lyrics (1898) * Pensive Poems and Startling Stories * A Rolling Stone. A Tale of Wrongs and Revenge * Mally An’ Me: A selection of Humorous and Pathetic Incidents from the Life of Sammywell Grimes and His Wife Mally (1902) * Yorksher Puddin (1876) * A Sheaf from the Moorland– A Collection of Original Poems * Grimes’ Visit To Th’ Queen. A Royal Time Amang Royalties * Seets I’Lundun: A Yorkshireman’s Ten Days’ Trip * Seets i’ Yorkshire and Lancashire or Grimes’ Comical Trip from Leeds to Liverpool by Canal * Seets i’ Blackpool– Grimes at the Seaside * Seets i’ Paris– Sammywell Grimes’s trip with his old chum Billy Baccus; his opinion o’th’ French, and th’ French opinion o’th’ exhibition he made ov hissen. * Grimes’ Trip to America– Ten letters from Sammywell to John Jones Smith * Sammywell Grimes An’ his Wife Mally Laikin I’ Lakeland: A Humorous Account of their Visit to the Home of Famous Poets, &c., &c. External links * Works by John Hartley at Project Gutenberg * Works by or about John Hartley at Internet Archive * Works by John Hartley at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks) * Yorkshire Ditties by John Hartley– Link fails 25 October 2008– permissions * John Hartley at Old Poetry References Wikipedia—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hartley_(poet)
Lived a life of different struggles and probably still will experience some more in my life. At the same time have conquered some great battles in life. Now going through a new journey and wondering where its going to lead . Now I feel like I need to share my words just as a release and also to get feed back. Writing is something I enjoy and now I will see how it does out in the public. P.S. Just so those who read my poems they are what I call just words to me so they may seem raw. I just type them up like I wrote them Have a good one and thank you for reading.