an-american-poet

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Sarah Orne Jewett (September 3, 1849 – June 24, 1909)

American novelist, short story writer and poet, best known for her local color works set along or near the southern seacoast of Maine. Jewett is recognized as an important practitioner of American literary regionalism. (Wikipedia)

From our stacks: 1. Cover detail from A Native of Winby and Other Tales By Sarah Orne Jewett. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company The Riverside Press, Cambridge, 1893.  2. Cover detail from A Country Doctor By Sarah Orne Jewett.  Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company The Riverside Press, Cambridge, 1912.  3. Cover detail from A White Heron and Other Stories by Sarah Orne Jewett. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company The Riverside Press, Cambridge, 1886.

Poetry Rounduuuup

April is National Poetry Month
A time to exalt in sweet words
Tumblr’s got poets straight out the wazoo
So here’s some cool links for you nerds

Originally posted by uutpoetry

Uut Poetry (@uutpoetry)

Uut Poetry is a…magazine? Of surrealist poetry. It’s really nicely curated and designed and you’ll get the whole deal if you read the manifesto-esque about page.


The Academy of American Poets (@poetsorg)

This is the official blog of The Academy of American Poets. Nice lil’ images with lines from all sorts of poets. Good follow for the casual appreciator.


Originally posted by langleav

Lang Leav (@langleav)

Lang Leav is an OG Tumblr poet and she has a book now. So.


Forgetlings (@forgetlings​)

This is Daniel Stephensen, who posts his own poetry, other people’s poetry, some things that aren’t poetry, etc.


Originally posted by jamesandrewcrosby

James Andrew Crosby (@jamesandrewcrosby​)

For fans of poems written on things. Visual poems, if you will. Voems? No—just Visual Poems.

List of gender neutral names with meanings and origins:

So, I was going to send this as a message to @oabuckvu, but instead I thought I’d post this here since others may also find it helpful!

A:

Addison- child of Adam- English
Adina- slender- Hebrew
Alby- from Alba- Latin
Ally- friend- English
Ash- ash tree clearing- English
Azra- pure- Israeli
Asa- physician- Hebrew
Arin- enlightened- Hebrew
Arlo- army, hill- old English or barberry tree- Spanish
Avery- elf ruler- English
Alex- defender of mankind- Greek
Arlen- promise, oath- Irish
Ambrose- immortal- Latin
Aspen- tree- English
August- dignity, vulnerable- German

B:

Blaine- yellow- Scottish
Blake- blonde, dark- English
Bryce- swift- Celtic
Brooklyn- broken land- English
Bradley- clearing in a woods- English
Bailey- bailiff- English
Beck- brook, stream- Norse

C:

Chyler- beloved- English
Cody- child of cuidightheach- English
Charlie- charles- English
Chris- christ- English
Coby- supplanter- Latin
Casey- brave- Gaelic
Corin- spear bearer- Irish
Cameron- crooked nose- Scottish
Colby- town, dark- Norse

D:

Dakota- friend- Native American
Devon- poet- Irish
Delaney- descendent of the challenger- Irish
Drew- manly- English
Denham- habitation- English
Dael- knowledge of God- Hebrew
Danny- God has judged- Scottish

E:

Ellis- Jehova is God- Greek
Ellery- from the elder tree island- English
Evan- youth warrior- Irish
Emery- brave, powerful- German
Eden- delight- Hebrew
Ellison- child of elder- English

F:

Farron- iron grey- Anglo Saxon
Freddie- peaceful ruler- German
Frankie- free one- French
Fynn- river in Ghana- African
Finch- bird- English
Flynn- child of red hair- Irish

G:

Gene- well born- English
Gale- cheerful, pleasant- English
Glade- shining- English
Glen- valley- Gaelic

H:

Hollis- Holly tree dweller- English
Harlow- rock, army, hill- English
Halley- lived near a grove- English
Hadley- Heather field- English

I:

Isa- devoted to God- Teutonic
Ives- archers bow- English
Iggy- firey one- English

J:

Juniper- youth producing, evergreen- Latin
Jesse- gift- Hebrew
Jo- God is gracious- English/German/French
Joey- may Jehova add- Hebrew
Jordan- river flow- Macedonian
Jet- black gemstone- German

K:

Kellam- at the ridges- Norse
Kelsey- from the ships island- English
Kendall- royal valley- English
Kai- sea- Hawaii

L:

Logan- hollow- Scottish
Leslie- garden of holly- Scottish
Lee- dweller near the wood- English
Lane- path- English
Luca- bringer of light- Italy
Lirit- poetic- Hebrew
Lex- defender- Greek
Lakota- friends- Siouan

M:

Mattie- strength in battle- German
Morgan- sea defender- English
Misha- God live- Russia
Max- greatest- Latin
Mattise- gift of god- French
Monroe- from the mouth of the river Roe- Irish

N:

Newlyn- from the new spring- Celtic
Noel- Christmas- French
Nicky- victory- English
Nat- gift of god- English
Nova- chases butterfly- Native American

O:

Oakley- from the oak tree meadow- English
Oak- tree- English

P:

Perry- dwells by the pear tree- English
Piper- one who plays the pipe- Scandinavian
Pema- lotus- Tibetan
Puck- unknown meaning- Dutch
Parker- park keeper- English

Q:

Quinn- fifth- Irish
Quinta- fifth- Spanish

R:

Reese- firey- Welsh
Rey- king- Spanish
Reed- red, clearing- English
Rune- secret- Norse
Rue- herb, regret- English
Rain- blessings- American
Riley- dweller by the Rye field- English
River- river- English
Rowan- red- Gaelic
Rory- red king- Gaelic
Ronson- child of ron- English

S:

Sawyer- cuts timber- Celtic
Stevie- crown- English
Shiloh- owner- Hebrew
Sage- wise one- French
Saxon- knife- Teutonic
Sammy- bright sun- Finnish
Scout- to listen- French
Shane- gift from God- Irish

T:

Tex- texas- American
Toni- worthy of praise- Latin
Theo- God given- Greek
Taylor- to cut- French
Tyne- a river in england- English
Tyler- maker of tiles- English
Terry- powerful ruler- English

U:

Umber- shade- French

W:

Wyatt- guide- English
Willow- graceful- English
Wynne- fair- English
Wren- song bird- English

X:

Xen- religious- Japanese

Y:

Yael- mountain goat- Hebrew

Z:

Zen- meditative state- Japanese

Fandometrics In Depth: Poetry Edition

This April marks the 21st annual National Poetry Month. Launched in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets (@poetsorg), it has become the largest literary celebration in the world. 

On Tumblr, #poetry is the most popular writing tag, with 10% more overall engagements than the next most popular writing tag, #prose. To top that off, #poetry was in the top 5% of all of the tags used on Tumblr in 2016.

From classic #haiku to transformative #visual poetry, #all caps poetry images and #spoken word videos, poetry on Tumblr has a variety of formats for you to tell your friend that you’ve eaten the plums out of their icebox.

Originally posted by hiromisuzukimicrojournal

Where the writers go

Since many people share curated works using the #poetry tag, a few other tags for mostly original work have popped up. The first is #poets on tumblr, which was the fourth largest community tag on Tumblr last year. Writers began using the tag to share their original work in the early 2010s and between 2013 and 2014, overall engagements (searches, original posts, reblogs and likes) grew 1366%. Over the next two years, that growth continued at an average of 214% per year. 

Originally posted by proudwallflower

#Spilled Ink started in 2011 after a pair of friends wanted a create a tag for poets on Tumblr to find each other’s work. Since 2013, The tag has averaged 41% year over year growth and has expanded to also include prose and other writing. It’s now one of the largest writing communities on Tumblr. For some sense of scale, in 2016, there were 32% more posts tagged #spilled ink than #poets on tumblr.

Finally, #Excerpt From A Book I’ll Never Write started appearing three years ago for short snippets of poetry—pieces of work shared with no pressure to be complete or finished. In 2014, only a handful of original posts were made with the tag, but were reblogged extensively throughout the year. Between 2014 and 2016, overall engagements in the tag increased 10,407%.

Originally posted by butteryplanet

Further reading

No matter what your favorite kind of poetry is, there are dozens of tags to find your next favorite writer on Tumblr. In addition to those mentioned above, there’s also:

There are also a number of amazing poetry blogs to follow:

  • Lang Leav (@langleav), a poet who began sharing her work on Tumblr and is now an international best-seller
  • Steve Roggenbuck (@livemylief), whose artistic videos and image macro poems break boundaries 
  • Button Poetry (@buttonpoetry), which focuses on performance poetry, and
  • Tyler Knott Gregson (@tylerknott) who shares daily haikus on love.

For more blogs, head on over to @staff and check out the roundup.

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Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014) 

American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist. (Wikipedia)

From our stacks: Dust jacket front and back from Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘fore I Diiie. The Poetry of Maya Angelou. New York: Random House, 1971.

And even though you said today you felt better,
and it is so late in this poem, is it okay to be clear,
            to say, I don’t feel good,

to ask you to tell me a story
about the sweet grass you planted—and tell it again
            or again—

until I can smell its sweet smoke,
            leave this thrashed field, and be smooth.

Natalie Diaz, from “From the Desire Field,” published in Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day

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So this handsome fellow is Peter Doyle, longtime partner of the great American poet Walt Whitman. He is often viewed as an enigmatic figure, but what we do know about him tells us that he was quite remarkable in his own right.

Pete was born in Limerick, Ireland, and came to the United States with his family when he was eight years old. After the death of his father, he worked hard to support his widowed mother and siblings. One of his brothers, Francis, became a police officer in Washington DC, where the family lived. Francis ended up fighting for the Union during the Civil War, while Pete served in the Confederate Army. He saw serious action and was wounded, discharged from the army, and promptly arrested when he attempted to go back to DC. He managed to get off the hook by claiming that, as an Irish immigrant, he really didn’t care one way or the other about Union versus Confederacy. True or not, this worked, and he was freed.

It was at this point that Pete took a job as a horsecar conductor. In the nearly empty streetcar, on a stormy night in early 1865, Pete met Walt Whitman. Pete as 21 at the time, while Walt was 45. According to the younger man, it was pretty much love at first sight. “We understood,” Pete said. Walt was the only passenger on the streetcar, and he didn’t get off at his planned stop. Instead, he rode with Pete until the end of the route, at which point the two men spent their first night together.

They were inseparable for the next seven or eight years. They’d often go for long walks together, with Walt reciting poetry or passages from Shakespeare. I am 100% not making this up.

And their letters. Oh my God, their letters. Not many of Pete’s to Walt survive, but Walt’s to Pete are so full of love that they’d melt the coldest heart. A sample quote: “My darling, if you are not well when I come back I will get a good room or two in some quiet place, and we will live together and devote ourselves altogether to the job of curing you, and making you stronger and healthier than ever. I have had this in my mind before but never broached it to you.”

As this excerpt implies, Walt very much wanted to make a home with his young partner. Sadly, this would never be possible. Pete, as the oldest unmarried son, saw it as his duty to provide for his mother and siblings. They – and the society in which they lived – had certain expectations. While Walt was on good terms with Pete’s family, getting them to accept wholeheartedly this same-sex relationship was an entirely different matter. The two men had to do with spending nights together.

Pete was definitely a tremendously positive influence on Walt and his work. He persuaded Walt to delete three poems dealing with themes of despair and unrequited love from the 1867 edition of Leaves of Grass. He may have also influenced one of his partner’s best-known works, “O Captain! My Captain!” The tone deals with the death of Abraham Lincoln and the end of the Civil War. It is unusual amongst Whitman’s works because it is rhymed, rather than written in free verse. Walt noted that Pete had quite the rhyming ability, often rattling off charming limericks. Also, some have argued that the metaphor of the ship on the rough sea is a kind of nod to Pete’s immigrant background.

The young immigrant was also an eyewitness to the greatest tragedy of the day. He was in the balcony of Ford’s theater on the night of April 14, 1865, when Lincoln was assassinated. He recounted hearing the shot, and then seeing Booth leap onto the stage. Later, Walt drew on this account as a source of information for his annual Lincoln lectures. And he wouldn’t have heard any of it, if it weren’t for his boyfriend!

Walt suffered a stroke in 1873, and moved to Camden, New Jersey, to live with his brother. He ended staying there until his death in 1892. Pete was unable to find work in Camden, though he did eventually get a job in Philadelphia. They saw each other only sporadically, and at one point Walt had gone so long without hearing from Pete that he thought the younger man had died. He hadn’t, but he was put off by the presence of a housekeeper and other caretakers in his partner’s house. He stayed away, for fear of rousing suspicion as to the true nature of the relationship. After Walt’s death, Pete expressed regret for his hesitation.

In 1897, Pete allowed Richard Maurice Bucke (Walt’s literary executor) to publish the letters written by Walt to Pete. The result was a book called Calamus. No one who read it would have any doubts as to the nature of the love between these two men. It made Pete the black sheep of his Catholic family, and his sister forbade the reading of the book in her house. I think we have to give the man some serious props here. It had to take a hell of a lot of courage to let something like that hit the presses in the 19th century. Maybe he was proud of himself, his partner, and their relationship, and saw no shame or sinfulness in any of it. I sincerely hope that this was the case, and that there was an element of defiance of social and religious norms that went into the publication of Calamus.

Pete remained a member of the “inner circle” of Whitman devotees until his own death in 1907. He is buried in DC’s Congressional Cemetery. His grave marker is a short walk from that of Leonard Matlovich, which famously reads, “they gave me a medal for killing two men, and a discharge for loving one.” Nowadays, Peter Doyle is usually included on history tours of the cemetery which focus on LGBT figures.

Excellent work has been done by Whitman scholars in order to rescue Pete from the shadows of history. We are beginning to understand just how much he influenced Walt, and what a fascinating man he is. “Pete the Great,” as he liked to call himself, is an enigma no more.

And now, to finish off this already very long post, a quick guide to the photos:

Top: Pete aged about 25 years, taken in 1868. Cool hat.

Middle: Pete aged 57, taken circa 1900. Cool mustache.

Bottom: Pete and Walt, circa 1868, ridiculously in love. This might be my favorite historical photograph of all time.

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Bungou Stray Dogs Characters and Their Real Prototypes The Guild:

1. Nathaniel Hawthorne — one of the first and the most universally recognized masters of American literature. He made a great contribution to the genre of novel and introduced elements of allegory and symbolism into the literature. Was in the spiritual Brook Farm commune. Was fond of the theory of transcendentalism. His famous work is ‘The Scarlet Letter’ (Scarlet Letter)

2. Margaret Mitchell — an American writer, author of ‘Gone With the Wind’ (Gone With the Wind)

3. Lucy Montgomery — Canadian writer, known for her serial of books about redhead orphan girl Anne Shirley. Her famous works are ‘Anne of Green Gables’, ‘Anne of Avonlea’, ‘The Story Girl’ (Anne of Abyssal Red)

4. John Steinbeck — an American prose writer, author of many world famous works and short stories: 'The Grapes of Wrath’, 'Eden of the East’ (Grapes of Wrath)

5. Francis Scott Fitzgerald — an American writer, the largest representative of the so-called 'lost generation’. He’s known for number of novels and stories about the 'jazz era’ of 1920s and, of course, for his work 'The Great Gatsby’ (The Great Fitzgerald)

6. Howard Lovecraft — an American writer and journalist working in the genres of mysticism, horror and fantasy, combining them in his own style. Ancestor of Myths of Cthulhu. Known for his works ’The Call of Cthulhu’, 'Dagon’, 'The Silver Key’ (The Call of Cthulhu)

7. Mark Twain an American writer, journalist and public figure. His work covers many genres - humor, satire, philosophical fiction, publicism and others. As an author, he took the position of the humanist and democrat. His famous works are 'The Adventures of Tom Swayer’ and 'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ (Huckleberry Finn and Tom Swayer)

8. Louisa May Alcott — an American writer who became famous for her novel 'Little Women’ which was based on her memories about her growing up time with three sisters (The Story of Little Women) 9. Herman Melville — an American writer and seaman, the author of 'Moby Dick, or the Whale’. Wrote not just prose but also poems (Moby Dick) 10. Edgar Allan Poe — an American writer, poet, essayist, literature critic and editor, the representative of American romantism. The creater of modern detective style and genre of psychological prose. He became famous for his novel 'Murders on Morgue St.’ (A Cat on Morgue St.) By Akaigami via Tumblr
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Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882)

American essayist, lecturer, and poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. (Wikipedia)

From our stacks: Title page detail, frontispiece “S.A. Schoff”, and excerpt from Nature. Addresses, and Lectures By Ralph Waldo Emerson. New and Revised Edition. Cambridge” Riverside Press, 1883. Five Hundred Copies Printed, No. 262.

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Emily Dickinson (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886)

Dickinson is almost universally considered to be one of the most significant of all American poets. (Wikipedia)

From our stacks: Poem ‘In a Library’ and spine detail from Poems by Emily Dickinson. Edited by two of her friends Mabel Loomis Todd and T. W. Higginson. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1910.

Image: Walt Whitman (FPG/Getty Images)

A literary treasure buried for more than a century has been unearthed by a grad student at the University of Houston. What’s notable about the work is its author — the beloved American poet Walt Whitman — and its place in Whitman’s literary career — just three years before he published Leaves of Grass.

Grad Student Discovers A Lost Novel Written By Walt Whitman

Sarah Helen Whitman

Sarah Helen Power Whitman (January 19, 1803 – June 27, 1878) was a poet, essayist, transcendentalist, Spiritualist and a romantic interest of Edgar Allan Poe. Whitman was born in Providence, Rhode Island on January 19, 1803, exactly six years before Poe’s birth. Sarah Helen Whitman had a heart condition that she treated with ether she breathed in through her handkerchief. Whitman was friends with Margaret Fuller and other intellectuals in New England. She became interested in transcendentalism through this social group and after hearing Ralph Waldo Emerson lecture in Boston, Massachusetts and in Providence. She also became interested in science, mesmerism, and the occult. She had a penchant for wearing black and a coffin-shaped charm around her neck and may have practiced séances in her home on Sundays, attempting to communicate with the dead. 

“Warm lights are on the sleepy uplands waning
Beneath dark clouds along the horizon rolled,
Till the slant sunbeams through the fringes raining
Bathe all the hills in melancholy gold.”

Whitman and Poe first crossed paths in Providence in July 1845. Poe was attending a lecture by friend and poet Frances Sargent Osgood. As Poe and Osgood walked, they passed the home of Whitman while she was standing in the rose garden behind her house. A friend, Annie Lynch, had asked Whitman to write a poem for a Valentine’s Day party in 1848. She agreed, and wrote one for Poe, though he was not in attendance. Poe heard about the tribute, “To Edgar Allan Poe,” and returned the favor by anonymously sending his previously-printed poem “To Helen”. Whitman may not have known it was from Poe himself and she did not respond. Three months later, Poe wrote her an entirely new poem, “To Helen,” referencing the moment from several years earlier where Poe first saw her in the rose garden behind her house […] She died at the age of 75 in 1878 and is buried in the North Burial Ground. In her will, she used the bulk of her estate to publish a volume of her own poetry and that of her sister. She also left money to the Providence Association for the Benefit of Colored Children and the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Read more || Edit

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Ogden Nash (August 19, 1902 – May 19, 1971) 

American poet well known for his light verse, of which he wrote over 500 pieces. With his unconventional rhyming schemes, he was declared the country’s best-known producer of humorous poetry. (Wikipedia)

From our stacks: Title page, frontispiece and excerpt from The Bad Parents’ Garden of Verse By Ogden Nash. Illustrated by Reginald Birch. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1936.