A Reader's History of American Literature

Front Cover
Emily Dickinson's friend and editor Thomas Wentworth Higginson along with Henry Walcott Boynton detail American literature, including the poetry of Emily Dickinson, in this compilation.
 

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Page 256 - Poetry is not like reasoning, a power to be exerted according to the determination of the will. A man cannot say, I will compose poetry ! The greatest poet even cannot say it, for the mind in creation is as a fading coal, which some invisible influence, like an inconstant wind, awakens to transitory brightness...
Page 49 - I must declare and avow, that in all my reading and observation— and it has been my favorite study— I have read Thucydides and have studied and admired the master states of the world— that for solidity of reasoning, force of sagacity, and wisdom of conclusion, under such a complication of difficult circumstances, no nation or body of men can stand in preference to the general congress at Philadelphia.
Page 49 - Philadelphia. I trust it is obvious to your lordships that all attempts to impose servitude upon such men, to establish despotism over such a mighty continental nation must be vain, must be fatal.
Page 25 - The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked: his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire...
Page 15 - Several Poems Compiled with Great Variety of Wit and Learning, Full of Delight...
Page 164 - The foregoing generations beheld God and nature face to face; we, through their eyes. Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe? Why should not we have a poetry and philosophy of insight and not of tradition, and a religion by revelation to us, and not the history of theirs?
Page 66 - I asked for a threepenny loaf, and was told they had none such. So, not considering or knowing the difference of money, and the greater cheapness nor the names of his bread, I bade him give me three-penny-worth of any sort.
Page 16 - A crime it is; therefore, in bliss you may not hope to dwell; But unto you I shall allow the easiest room in hell.
Page 16 - When I behold the heavens as in their prime, And then the earth, though old, still clad in green, The stones and trees insensible of time, Nor age nor wrinkle on their front are seen; If winter come, and greenness then do fade, A spring returns, and they more youthful made. But man grows old, lies down, remains where once he's laid.
Page 66 - Street wharf, near the boat I came in, to which I went for a draught of the river water ; and, being filled with one of my rolls, gave the other two to a woman and her child that came down the river in the boat with us, and were waiting to go farther.

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