poetry

William Blake – Poet, Painter, Visionary

William Blake – Poet, Painter, Visionary

On November 28, 1757, English poet, painter, and printmaker William Blake was born. Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual art of the Romantic Age. Both his artistic and literary works were largely rejected by his contemporaries. It was not until the mid-19th century that his very innovative works were discovered by the Pre-Raphaelites, gained general recognition, and later became popular in pop culture.…
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The Sensibility of Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock

The Sensibility of Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock

On July 2, 1724, German poet Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock was born. One of his major contributions to German literature was to open it up to exploration outside of French models. Klopstock is considered an important representative of sensibility. “The God who created these fair heavens with the same facility as yon green sapling; he who hath bestowed on man a life of toil, of transient joys and fleeting pains, that he might…
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Gabriel Dante Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

Gabriel Dante Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

On May 12, 1828, English poet, illustrator, painter and translator Gabriel Charles Dante Rossetti, generally known as Gabriel Dante Rossetti, was born. Rossetti founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 with William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais. Later he became the main inspiration for a second generation of artists and writers influenced by the movement, most notably William Morris [1] and Edward Burne-Jones. “I am not as these are, the poet saith…
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Me Miserum! – The sad beautiful Poetry of Ovid

Me Miserum! – The sad beautiful Poetry of Ovid

On March 20, 43 BCE, Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso, better know as Ovid, was born. Ovid lived during the reign of Augustus. He composed both epic and elegiac poetry, some of which contributed to his exile from Rome in 8 AD. Back in high school, we had to translate from some of Ovid’s stories of his Metamorphosis from Latin. However, later we also turned to his rich and affectfully sophisticated poetry,…
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The Lyric Poems of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Lyric Poems of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

On February 27, 1807, American poet and educator Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born. He was the first American to translate Dante Alighieri‘s Divine Comedy.[1] Longfellow wrote many lyric poems known for their musicality and often presenting stories of mythology and legend. He became the most popular American poet of his day and had success overseas. “It was the schooner Hesperus, That sailed the wintry sea; And the skipper had taken his little…
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Clark Ashton Smith – The Last of the Great Romantics

Clark Ashton Smith – The Last of the Great Romantics

On January 13, 1893, self-educated American poet, sculptor, painter Clark Ashton Smith was born. Smith achieved recognition as author of fantasy, horror and science fiction short stories. As a poet, Smith is grouped with the West Coast Romantics alongside Ambrose Bierce, Joaquin Miller, Sterling, Nora May French, and remembered as “The Last of the Great Romantics” and “The Bard of Auburn“. Together with Robert E. Howard and H. P. Lovecraft Smith was…
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Modernism and Poetic Tradition – the Works of Rainer Maria Rilke

Modernism and Poetic Tradition – the Works of Rainer Maria Rilke

On December 4, 1875, Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist Rainer Maria Rilke was born. With his dingly poetry, completed in the New Poems and influenced by the visual arts, he is considered one of the most important poets of literary modernism. From Rilke’s work there are several stories, a novel and essays on art and culture as well as numerous translations of literature and poetry. His extensive correspondence is considered an important part…
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Arthur Rimbaud and his Influence on Modernism

Arthur Rimbaud and his Influence on Modernism

On October 20, 1854, French poet Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud was born. Rimbaud is known for his influence on modern literature and arts, prefiguring surrealism. As a poet, Rimbaud is well known for his contributions to symbolism and, among other works, for A Season in Hell, a precursor to modernist literature. “Lighter than a cork I danced on the waves.” – Arthur Rimbaud, The Drunken Boat (1871) Arthur Rimbaud – Family Background…
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Sir Walter Scott and the Invention of the Historical Novel

Sir Walter Scott and the Invention of the Historical Novel

On August 15, 1771, Scottish historical novelist, poet, playwright, and historian Sir Walter Scott was born. He was one of the most widely read authors of his time – not only in Europe – and is traditionally considered the founder of the historical novel. Many of his historical novels have become classics and have served as models for numerous plays, operas and films. I remember as a child that I was watching the…
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Federico Garcia Lorca and the Renewal of Spanish Theatre

Federico Garcia Lorca and the Renewal of Spanish Theatre

On June 5, 1898, Spanish poet, playwright, and theatre director Federico Garcia Lorca was born. He is among the leading figures of the Generación del 27, which includes poets such as Vicente Aleixandre, Dámaso Alonso, Rafael Alberti, Pedro Salinas, Jorge Guillén and Gerardo Diego. Together with Ramón del Valle-Inclán, he renewed the Spanish theatre, which was frozen in late Romantic formulas and flat naturalism. Federico García Lorca – Youth in Granada Federico…
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