William Cullen Bryant Homestead

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Transcript William Cullen Bryant Homestead

William Cullen Bryant
Biographical Introduction
Literary Achievements
Major Works
Appreciation of his poems
William Cullen Bryant
• American romantic poet
• Journalist
• Long-time editor of the New York Evening
• politician and founder of the New York
Medical College.
William Cullen Bryant ( 1794—
1878 ) 威廉·卡伦·布莱恩特
A Brief Introduction
Family background
• William Cullen Bryant was born at Cummington, Hampshire
County, Massachusetts, November 3, 1794, and, after an
unusually long and active literary life, he died in New York,
June 12, 1878.
• Born to a country doctor’s family and second of seven
• Maternal ancestry traces back to passengers on the
Mayflower. Paternal ancestry traces back to the early
• Moved to a new home the William Cullen Bryant
Homestead, which later became a museum.
William Cullen Bryant Homestead
Literary Achievements
• Bryant as literary critic
1. Leading American literature into the romantic
revolt against neoclassic restraints
2. Favoring short poems
3. Creatively imitating and borrowing from writers of
other countries and ages
• Bryant as poet
1. A great nature poet with moralizing stanzas
2. Believing in nature therapy as a cure for the evils
of civilization
3. Great spring of poetry coming from emotions
Bryant’s Signature
His other contributions
1. Supporting free trade,
free labor and free speech
2. Strongly against slavery
3. Supporting international
copyright, paid fire
department, police uniform,
street cleaning machines,
cheaper postage, and the
Central Park
4. Introducing A. Lincoln at
the Cooper Union speech
5. The Fireside Poet
Call for the construction of the Central Park
Major works
• 1808 The Embargo 禁运, a satirical poem in reaction
against Jefferson’s trade restrictions
• 1811 Thanatopsis 死亡随想 brought him his first
success and general attention to his extraordinary
• 1821, first collection Poems 《诗选》appeared in
Boston, consisting of eight of his poems, such as his
most famous poems “To a Waterfowl”,
“Thanatopsis”, and “The Yellow Violet.”
• Thereafter established his position in the history of
American literature
Major works
• 1832— 1864 he published six volumes,
The Fountain 温泉(1842),
The White-Footed Deer 白蹄鹿(1844),
The Flood of Years 似水流年(1878)
A Forest Hymn 森林吟唱(1860)
• Another treasure that Bryant left was his poetic
translations of Homer’s Iliad (伊利亚特) (1870) and
Odyssey(奥德赛) (1871).
• His “Library of Poetry and Song” 诗歌集(1871-1872),
the first great critical anthology, was his last
literary effort.
Appreciation of his poems
To a waterfowl
The peak of his work,
best lyric poem,
considered the “most
perfect brief poem
in the language”.
To a waterfowl
One definite, clear and highly unified image the
Grateful view of the waterfowl
Sense of a divine power that guides and protects
everything in nature
Determination in finding his own path under the guide
of god
Clean and tidy
Eight alternating quatrains
Each with an abab rhythm
Appreciation of his poems
1811 to1812
• Most famous poem
• Influenced by the
Graveyard School
poets in England
• This poem is written in blank verse (unrhymed
iambic pentameter), for the advantage to
express with more freedom.
• In the poem he develops a view of death which
represents a sharp break from Puritan
attitude toward man’s final destiny.
• To the Puritans, death was seen as a
preliminary to an afterlife. He treats death
part of nature, the destiny of us all, and the
great equalizer.
The features of his poetry
• Nature reinforces happiness and softens sorrow,
death is part of nature, destiny of all, and the great
• His poems idealize the advantages of life in the
country over life in the city.
• He insists upon the rights of the individual but
maintains that the individual possesses certain duties
toward his fellowman.
The features of his poetry
• Conventional
The beauty and
on the whole
of nature as a source of
and escape
• solace,
Lyric and
•• The
and of
•• The
of human
verse without
• The power and beneficence of God
• Political and philosophical issues
Bryant Park was named
after William Cullen
Bryant (1794-1878)
The lawn at Bryant Park
in Midtown Manhattan is
a big thing during most
midday lunch-time hours
in New York City.
Thank you