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American Authors. William Williams EDCI 4314. - The topic of this presentation will be American Poets. The goal of this presentation is to expose students to some American Authors and samples of their work (either short poems or parts of poems, stories, or novels)

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William Williams

EDCI 4314


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  • - The topic of this presentation will be American Poets.

  • The goal of this presentation is to expose students to some American Authors and samples of their work (either short poems or parts of poems, stories, or novels)

  • This presentation is directed towards students in American Literature, which usually entails those students in the eleventh grade English classes.

  • In order to fully experience this presentation students will need the following skills:

    • ability to use a computer mouse

    • ability to read and comprehend material


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American Authors

Whitman, Walt

Eliot, T.S.

Dickinson, Emily

Frost, Robert

Poe, Edgar Allan

Morrison, Toni

Thoreau, Henry David

O’Connor, Flannery

Twain, Mark

Fun Quiz

Other Authors


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Edgar Allan Poe

  • Edgar Allan Poe, son of Actress Eliza Poe and Actor David Poe Jr., born 19th of January 1809, was mostly known for his poems and short tales and his literary criticism. He has been given credit for inventing the detective story and his psychological thrillers have been influences for many writers worldwide. Edgar and his brother and sister were orphaned before Edgar's third birthday and Edgar was taken in to the home of John and Fanny Allan in Richmond, Va. The Allans lived in England for five years (1815-1820) where Edgar also attended school. In 1826 he entered the University of Virginia. Although a good student he was forced to gambling since John Allan did not provide well enough. Allan refused to pay Edgar's debts and Edgar had to leave the University after only one year.

  • In 1827 Edgar published his first book, "Tamerlane and other poems" anonymously under the signature "A Bostonian". The poems were heavily influenced from Byron and showed of a youthful attitude.

    • Later Poe moved to Baltimore to live with his aunt, Maria Clemm, and his first cousin Virginia. In 1832 he won a $50 prize for his story "MS. Found in a Bottle" in the Baltimore Saturday Visiter. In 1835 Poe brought his aunt and cousin to Richmond where he worked with Thomas Willis White at the Southern Literary Messenger. He also married his cousin Virginia, only thirteen years old.

American Authors

Examples of his

Writing


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TO HELEN

The Raven

American Authors

Edgar Allan Poe


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TO HELEN

by Edgar Allan Poe, 1831Helen, thy beauty is to meLike those Nicean barks of yore,That gently, o'er a perfumed sea,The weary, wayworn wanderer boreTo his own native shore.On desperate seas long wont to roam,Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face,Thy Naiad airs have brought me homeTo the glory that was GreeceAnd the grandeur that was Rome.Lo! in yon brilliant window-nicheHow statue-like I see thee stand,The agate lamp within thy hand!Ah, Psyche, from the regions whichAre Holy Land!-THE END-

Edgar Allan Poe

American Authors


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The Raven

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore -- While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. " 'T is some visitor, " I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door–

Only this and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December; And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor. Eagerly I wished the morrow -- vainly I had sought to borrow From my books surcease of sorrow -- sorrow for the lost Lenore-- For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore–

Nameless here for evermore.

American Authors

Edgar Allan Poe


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Toni Morrison

While teaching at Howard, Morrison began to

write fiction. After leaving teaching she

worked as an editor at Random House, first in

Syracuse, New York, then in New York City.

Her first novel, The Bluest Eye, an expansion

of an earlier short story, was published in

1970, and she attracted immediate attention

as a promising writer. This was followed by

the novel Sula (1973), about a woman who

refuses to conform to community mores.

Morrison's next novel, Song of Solomon

(1977), was hailed by critics as a major

literary achievement. It tells the story of a

character named Milkman Dead, who in his

search for his family's lost fortune discovers

instead his family history. Tar Baby (1981),

about a tense romance between a man and a

woman, was equally well received.

Beloved (1987; Pulitzer Prize, 1988) is

regarded by many as Morrison's most

successful novel.

Born in Lorain, Ohio, Morrison was christened

Chloe Anthony Wofford and grew up during

the Great Depression of the 1930s in a poor

and close-knit family. In 1949 she entered

Howard University, where she became

interested in theater and joined a drama

group, the Howard University Players.

Morrison went on to earn an M.A. degree in

English at Cornell University in 1955. She

subsequently taught at Texas Southern

University from 1955 to 1957 and then at

Howard University from 1957 to 1964. While

at Howard she met and married Harold

Morrison, a Jamaican architect. The couple

had two children and then divorced in 1964.

Summary of

The Bluest Eye

American Authors


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The Bluest Eye is split into an untitled prelude and four large units, each

named after a season. The four larger units begin with "Autumn" and end in

"Summer," with each unit being split into smaller sections. The first section of

each season is narrated by Claudia MacTeer, a woman whose memories

frame the events of the novel. At the time that the main events of the plot take

place, Claudia is a nine-year-old girl. This device allows Morrison to employ

a reflective adult narrator without losing the innocent perspective of a child.

Claudia MacTeer lives with her parents and her sister in the humble MacTeer

family house in Lorrain, Ohio. The year is 1939.

The novel's focus, however, is on a girl named Pecola Breedlove. Pecola, we

are told in the prelude, will be raped by her father by novel's end. The prelude

frames the story so that the reader knows from the beginning that Pecola's

story ends tragically. The Breedloves are poor, unhappy, and troubled. Their

story seems in many ways to be deterministic, as they are often the victims of

forces over which they have no control. Their situation is a powerful contrast

to the MacTeers, who are of slender means but have a strong family unit. The

MacTeers also seem to have much stronger agency, and are never really

passive victims in the way that the Breedloves are.

Toni Morrison

American Authors


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THOREAU'S EARLY YEARS large units, each

Henry Thoreau was born in 1817 in Concord, where his father, John, was a shopkeeper. John moved his family to Chelmsford and Boston, following business opportunities. In 1823 the

family moved back to Concord where John established a pencil-making concern that eventually brought financial stability to the family. Thoreau's mother, Cynthia Dunbar, took in

boarders for many years to help make ends meet. Thoreau's older siblings, Helen and John, Jr., were both schoolteachers; when it was decided that their brother should go to Harvard

College, as had his grandfather before him, they contributed from their teaching salaries to help pay his expenses, at that time about $179 a year.

Harvard put heavy emphasis on the classics--Thoreau studied Latin and Greek grammar or composition for three of his four years. He also took courses in mathematics, English, history,

and mental, natural, and intellectual philosophy. Modern languages were voluntary, and Thoreau chose to take Italian, French, German, and Spanish. He was never happy about the

teaching methods used at Harvard--Ralph Waldo is supposed to have remarked that most of the branches of learning were taught at Harvard, and Thoreau to have replied, "Yes, all of

the branches and none of the roots"--but he did appreciate the lifelong borrowing privileges at Harvard College Library for which his degree qualified him.

Henry David Thoreau

THOREAU'S EARLY YEARS

Henry Thoreau was born in 1817 in Concord, where his father, John, was a shopkeeper. John moved his family to Chelmsford and Boston, following business opportunities. In 1823 the

family moved back to Concord where John established a pencil-making concern that eventually brought financial stability to the family. Thoreau's mother, Cynthia Dunbar, took in

boarders for many years to help make ends meet. Thoreau's older siblings, Helen and John, Jr., were both schoolteachers; when it was decided that their brother should go to Harvard

College, as had his grandfather before him, they contributed from their teaching salaries to help pay his expenses, at that time about $179 a year.

Harvard put heavy emphasis on the classics--Thoreau studied Latin and Greek grammar or composition for three of his four years. He also took courses in mathematics, English, history,

and mental, natural, and intellectual philosophy. Modern languages were voluntary, and Thoreau chose to take Italian, French, German, and Spanish. He was never happy about the

teaching methods used at Harvard--Ralph Waldo is supposed to have remarked that most of the branches of learning were taught at Harvard, and Thoreau to have replied, "Yes, all of the branches and none of the roots"--but he did appreciate the lifelong borrowing privileges at Harvard College Library for which his degree qualified him.

American Authors

His Writing

Thoreau and the Transcendentalist movement in New England grew up together.

The Transcendentalists assumed a universe divided into two essential parts, the soul and nature. Emerson defined the soul by defining nature: "all that is separated from us, all which Philosophy distinguishes as the NOT ME, that is, both nature and art, all other men and my own body, must be ranked under this name, NATURE." A belief in the reliability of the human conscience was a fundamental Transcendentalist principle, and this belief was based upon a conviction of the immanence, or indwelling, of God in the soul of the individual. "We see God around us because He dwells within us," wrote William Ellery Channing in 1828; "the beauty and glory of God's works are revealed to the mind by a light beaming from itself."


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Walden large units, each

All day long the red squirrels came and went, and afforded me much entertainment by their manoeuvres. One would approach at first warily through the shrub-oaks, running over the snow crust by fits and starts like a leaf blown by the wind, now a few paces this way, with wonderful speed and waste of energy, making inconceivable haste with his "trotters," as if it were for a wager, and now as many paces that way, but never getting on more than half a rod at a time; and then suddenly pausing with a ludicrous expression and a gratuitous somerset, as if all the eyes in the universe were fixed on him,--for all the motions of a squirrel, even in the most solitary recesses of the forest, imply spectators as much as those of a dancing girl,--wasting more time in delay and circumspection than would have sufficed to walk the whole distance,--I never saw one walk,--and then suddenly, before you could say Jack Robinson, he would be in the top of a young pitch-pine, winding up his clock and chiding all imaginary spectators, soliloquizing and talking to all the universe at the same time,--for no reason that I could ever detect, or he himself was aware of, I suspect.

Henry

David

Thoreau

American Authors


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Flannery (Mary) O'Connor was a young woman with a morbid curiosity. This curiosity is what helped her become such a greater writer during her time.

She was born in Savannah, Georgia on March 25, 1925. She lived a very happy life with two wonderful parents who worked very hard for everything they had. Her father was a

realtor owner and later worked for Dixie Construction Company. Several years later he took a job as a real estate appraiser for the Federal Housing Administration in Atlanta. Flannery's

mother stayed at home in order to give her the best at home life possible.

Flannery lived the majoriy of her life in Milledgeville, Georgia on the family's farm. She went to grammar school at St. Vincent and Sacred Heart Parochral, but didn't enjoy school

much until her high school years. After high school (1942-45), she went to Georgia State College for Women. Flannery was an intellegent student and was enrolled in an accelareted three

year program. During those years she involved herself in many activities. These activities focused mainly around her passion, writing. She was part of the yearbook, newspaper, and editor

of the Englis literary magazine at the college. She graduated in 1945 with a bachelor's of arts in social science. O'Connor deceided to further extend her education by going to the

University of Iowa. There she began to attend writer's workshops and wrote the first of her short stories. While at the universtiy, she wrote her first novel, Wise Blood. This novel took

five years to complete, but she was very pleased with the finished product.

In December of 1950 her life changed dramatically. She suffered her first attack from lupus, the disease that her father had died from years before. She was forced to return home to

Milledgeville to get help from her mother. Even though she was ill, she continued to write three hours a day and occassionally lectured to colleges in the South about writing. Her life was

cut short due to the disease; she died on August 3, 1964, of lupus at the age of 39. Today she is honored as distinguished graduate from Georgia State as well as a wonderful author.

Flannery O’Connor

Flannery (Mary) O'Connor was a young woman with a morbid curiosity. This curiosity is what helped her become such a greater writer during her time.

She was born in Savannah, Georgia on March 25, 1925. She lived a very happy life with two wonderful parents who worked very hard for everything they had. Her father was a realtor owner and later worked for Dixie Construction Company. Several years later he took a job as a real estate appraiser for the Federal Housing Administration in Atlanta. Flannery's mother stayed at home in order to give her the best at home life possible.

Flannery lived the majority of her life in Milledgeville, Georgia on the family's farm. She went to grammar school at St. Vincent and Sacred Heart Parochial, but didn't enjoy school much until her high school years. After high school (1942-45), she went to Georgia State College for Women. Flannery was an intelligent student and was enrolled in an accelerated three year program. During those years she involved herself in many activities. These activities focused mainly around her passion, writing. She was part of the yearbook, newspaper, and editor of the English literary magazine at the college. She graduated in 1945 with a bachelor's of arts in social science. O'Connor decided to further extend her education by going to the University of Iowa. There she began to attend writer's workshops and wrote the first of her short stories. While at the university, she wrote her first novel, Wise Blood. This novel took five years to complete, but she was very pleased with the finished product.

In December of 1950 her life changed dramatically. She suffered her first attack from lupus, the disease that her father had died from years before. She was forced to return home to Milledgeville to get help from her mother. Even though she was ill, she continued to write three hours a day and occasionally lectured to colleges in the South about writing. Her life was cut short due to the disease; she died on August 3, 1964, of lupus at the age of 39. Today she is honored as distinguished graduate from Georgia State as well as a wonderful author.

American Authors


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Mark Twain curiosity. This curiosity is what helped her become such a greater writer during her time.

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, for nearly half a century known and

celebrated as "Mark Twain," was born in Florida, Missouri, on

November 30, 1835. He was one of the foremost American

philosophers of his day; he was the world's most famous humorist of

any day. During the later years of his life he ranked not only as

America's chief man of letters, but likewise as her best known and best loved citizen.

The beginnings of that life were sufficiently unpromising. The family

was a good one, of old Virginia and Kentucky stock, but its

circumstances were reduced, its environment meager and

disheartening. The father, John Marshall Clemens -- a lawyer by

profession, a merchant by vocation -- had brought his household to

Florida from Jamestown, Tennessee, somewhat after the manner of

Judge Hawkins as pictured in The Gilded Age.

American Authors

His Work


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The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County curiosity. This curiosity is what helped her become such a greater writer during her time.

In compliance with the request of a friend of mine, who wrote me from

the East, I called on good-natured, garrulous old Simon Wheeler, and

inquired after my friend's friend, Leonidas W. Smiley, as requested to

do, and I hereunto append the result. I have a lurking suspicion that

Leonidas W. Smiley is a myth; that my friend never knew such a

personage; and that he only conjectured that, if I asked old Wheeler

about him, it would remind him of his infamous Jim Smiley, and he

would go to work and bore me nearly to death with some infernal

reminiscence of him as long and tedious as it should be useless to me.

If that was the design, it certainly succeeded.

Mark Twain

American Authors


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Walt Whitman curiosity. This curiosity is what helped her become such a greater writer during her time.

Born into a working class family in West Hills, New York, a village near Hempstead, Long Island, on May 31, 1819, just thirty years after George Washington was inaugurated as the first president.

Walt loved living close to the East River, where as a child he rode the ferries back and forth to New York City, imbibing an experience that would remain significant for him his whole life: he loved ferries and the people who worked on them, and his 1856 poem eventually entitled "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry" explored the full resonance of the experience.

A couple of poems written:

American Authors

Song of Myself

A Sight In Camp in the

Daybreak Gray and Dim


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A SIGHT IN CAMP IN THE DAYBREAK GRAY AND DIM. curiosity. This curiosity is what helped her become such a greater writer during her time.

A SIGHT in camp in the daybreak gray and dim,

As from my tent I emerge so early sleepless,

As slow I walk in the cool fresh air the path near by the hospital

tent,

Three forms I see on stretchers lying, brought out there untended

lying,

Over each the blanket spread, ample brownish woolen blanket,

Gray and heavy blanket, folding, covering all.

Curious I halt and silent stand,

Then with light fingers I from the face of the nearest the first

just lift the blanket;

Who are you elderly man so gaunt and grim, with well-gray'd hair,

and flesh all sunken about the eyes?

Who are you my dear comrade?

Then to the second I step- and who are you my child and darling?

Who are you sweet boy with cheeks yet blooming?

Then to the third- a face nor child nor old, very calm, as of

beautiful yellow-white ivory;

Young man I think I know you- I think this face is the face of the

Christ himself,

Dead and divine and brother of all, and here again he lies.

Walt Whitman

American Authors


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SONG OF MYSELF curiosity. This curiosity is what helped her become such a greater writer during her time.

1

I CELEBRATE myself, and sing myself,

And what I assume you shall assume,

For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loafe and invite my soul,

I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

My tongue, every atom of my blood, form'd from this soil,

this air,

Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and

their parents the same,

I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin,

Hoping to cease not till death.

Creeds and schools in abeyance,

Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never

forgotten,

I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,

Nature without check with original energy.

Walt Whitman

American Authors


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Emily Dickinson curiosity. This curiosity is what helped her become such a greater writer during her time.

Emily Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts on December 10, 1830. Emily lived secluded in the house she was born in, except for the short time she attended Amherst Academy and Holyoke Female Seminary, until her death on May 15, 1886 due to Bight's disease.

Emily Dickinson's was the most wholly private literary career of any major American writer. One of her poems, a valentine, appeared in the Amherst College Indicator in February 1850, and another valentine was published in the Springfield Republican, a newspaper, in February 1852.

American Authors

Her Writing


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Emily Dickinson - I felt a Funeral, in my Brain, (280) curiosity. This curiosity is what helped her become such a greater writer during her time.

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,

And Mourners to and fro

Kept treading -- treading -- till it seemed

That Sense was breaking through --

And when they all were seated,

A Service, like a Drum --

Kept beating -- beating -- till I thought

My Mind was going numb --

And then I heard them lift a Box

And creak across my Soul

With those same Boots of Lead, again,

Then Space -- began to toll,

As all the Heavens were a Bell,

And Being, but an Ear,

And I, and Silence, some strange Race

Wrecked, solitary, here --

And then a Plank in Reason, broke,

And I dropped down, and down --

And hit a World, at every plunge,

And Finished knowing -- then --

Emily Dickinson - Safe in their Alabaster Chambers (216)

Safe in their Alabaster Chambers --

Untouched my Morning

And untouched by Noon --

Sleep the meek members of the Resurrection --

Rafter of satin,

And Roof of stone.

Light laughs the breeze

In her Castle above them --

Babbles the Bee in a stolid Ear,

Pipe the Sweet Birds in ignorant cadence --

Ah, what sagacity perished here!

The Dickinson Homestead

Emily Dickinson

American Authors


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American Authors curiosity. This curiosity is what helped her become such a greater writer during her time.

Robert Frost

1874 - Born on March 26 in San Francisco, first child of Isabelle Moodie and William Prescott Frost Jr. Named after Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

1883 - Frost hears voices when left alone and is told by mother that he shares her gift for "second hearing" and "second sight." Father continues to drink as his health deteriorates.

1963 - Awarded the Bollingen Prize for Poetry. Suffers another embolism on January 7. Dies shortly after midnight on January 29. Private memorial service for friends and family is held in Appleton Chapel in Harvard yard, and public service is held at Johnson Chapel, Amherst College. Ashes are interred in the Frost family plot in Old Bennington.

His Writing


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THE ROAD NOT TAKEN curiosity. This curiosity is what helped her become such a greater writer during her time.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

American Authors

Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sound's the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Frost


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(Thomas Stearns Eliot), 1888–1965, American-British poet and critic, b. St. Louis, Mo. One of the most distinguished literary figures of the 20th cent., T. S. Eliot won the 1948 Nobel Prize in Literature. He studied at Harvard, the Sorbonne, and Oxford. In 1914 he established residence in London and in 1927 became a British subject. After working as a teacher and a bank clerk he began a publishing career; he was assistant editor of the Egoist (1917–19) and edited his own quarterly, the Criterion (1922–39). In 1925 he was employed by the publishing house of Faber and Faber, eventually becoming one of its directors.

T.S. Eliot

American

Authors

Some poems he wrote:

The Love Song of

J. Alfred Prufrock

The Waste Land


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The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and critic, b. St. Louis, Mo. One of the most distinguished literary figures of the 20th cent., T. S. Eliot won the 1948 Nobel Prize in Literature. He studied at Harvard, the Sorbonne, and Oxford. In 1914 he established residence in London and in 1927 became a British subject. After working as a teacher and a bank clerk he began a publishing career; he was assistant editor of the

S'io credesse che mia risposta fosse

A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,

Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.

Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo

Non torno vivo alcun, s'i'odo il vero,

Senza tema d'infamia ti rispondo.

Let us go then, you and I,

When the evening is spread out against the sky

Like a patient etherised upon a table;

Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,

The muttering retreats

Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels

And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:

Streets that follow like a tedious argument

Of insidious intent

To lead you to an overwhelming question. . .

Oh, do not ask, "What is it?"

Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go

Talking of Michelangelo.

American

Authors

T. S. Eliot


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The Waste Land and critic, b. St. Louis, Mo. One of the most distinguished literary figures of the 20th cent., T. S. Eliot won the 1948 Nobel Prize in Literature. He studied at Harvard, the Sorbonne, and Oxford. In 1914 he established residence in London and in 1927 became a British subject. After working as a teacher and a bank clerk he began a publishing career; he was assistant editor of the

Part 1 - Burial of the Dead

April is the cruellest month, breeding

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

Memory and desire, stirring

Dull roots with spring rain.

Winter kept us warm, covering

Earth in forgetful snow, feeding

A little life with dried tubers.

Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee

With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,

And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten

And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.

Bin gar keine Russin, stamm' aus Litauen, echt deutsch.

And when we were children, staying at the arch-duke's,

My cousin's, he took me out on a sled,

And I was frightened. He said, Marie,

Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.

In the mountains, there you feel free.

I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.

American

Authors

T. S. Eliot


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Other Poets and critic, b. St. Louis, Mo. One of the most distinguished literary figures of the 20th cent., T. S. Eliot won the 1948 Nobel Prize in Literature. He studied at Harvard, the Sorbonne, and Oxford. In 1914 he established residence in London and in 1927 became a British subject. After working as a teacher and a bank clerk he began a publishing career; he was assistant editor of the

James Langston Hughes 1902 - 1967

John Gneisenau Neihardt (1881-1973)

William Carlos Williams 1883 – 1963

American Authors


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Quiz on American Authors and critic, b. St. Louis, Mo. One of the most distinguished literary figures of the 20th cent., T. S. Eliot won the 1948 Nobel Prize in Literature. He studied at Harvard, the Sorbonne, and Oxford. In 1914 he established residence in London and in 1927 became a British subject. After working as a teacher and a bank clerk he began a publishing career; he was assistant editor of the

Who wrote “The Waste Land”?

Who attended a Seminary?

Who rode ferries across the East River?

Who heard voices when left alone?

Which American Poet has the same name as your teacher?

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American Authors


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