American Poetry Presentation
American poetry is an incredibly diverse and vibrant genre of literature that expresses the grandeur of American landscape and the struggles of the nation’s people An American poetry presentation allows one to explore the authors and their works, and to discuss the history and the context in which certain pieces of poetry were created.
An American poetry presentation can begin by exploring early colonial and Puritan poetry, which was usually religious in nature and structured in a distinct meter and rhyme scheme. By examining the works of Puritan poets, it is possible to understand more about the spiritual foundations of the nation and how these beliefs influenced the collective American psyche. Notable examples of early American poetry include Edward Taylor’s “God’s Determinations” and Anne Bradstreet’s “Verses upon the Burning of Our House.”
As one moves through the 18th century, the renowned Romantic period of American literature begins. This period is marked by a move away from Puritanism and a focus instead on individualism and nature. This period is characterized by a focus on larger-than-life themes, and is exemplified by the works of William Cullen Bryant, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Edgar Allan Poe. Bryant’s “Thanatopsis” explores mortality and the life cycle, while Longfellow’s “The Song of Hiawatha” is a romantic, epic narrative of American Indian life. Poe is most well-known for his gothic tales, but his poetic works, such as “The Raven”, also reflect Romantic themes.
The 19th century brought about an even greater diversity in American poetry, particularly with the emergence of “regional” poets who used local dialects and rural topics to express the particular culture of their area. Walt Whitman’s works are most often associated with this period, particularly his sprawling “Leaves of Grass”. This period also included the rise of “Negro Spirituals” and African-American poets, such as Paul Laurence Dunbar and Phillis Wheatley.
The 20th century saw the emergence of Modernist poetry, which experimented with both traditional and avant-garde forms. Poets such as T. S. Eliot, Marianne Moore, and E. E. Cummings developed new techniques of form and structure that pushed the boundaries of traditional poetic conventions. These poets also incorporated popular culture into their works, such as popular music and movies.
The last few decades have seen a flourishing of the postmodern tradition in American poetry. Many of these poets draw from a diverse range of topics and styles to create unique and experimental works. Notable postmodern poets include John Ashbery, Adrienne Rich, and Robert Pinsky.
Through examining the works of various American poets, one can gain insight into the history and culture of the United States as well as the diversity of poetic expression that has become the hallmark of American literature. An American poetry presentation is a great way to explore the many different forms and styles of poetry that have been created throughout the nation’s history.