Friday, April 15, 2011

Who's Who: William Cullen Bryant

Johnny Dixon makes the connection between Jarmyn Thanatos and this writer’s 1811 poem, "Thanatopsis" [The Bell, the Book, and the Spellbinder; 53].

William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878) was an American poet from Massachusetts, and editor of the New York Evening Post. Bryant developed an interest in poetry early in life, emulating Alexander Pope among other British poets. He wrote the bulk of "Thanatopsis" at age 17 in 1811, but added the introductory and concluding lines a decade later. Its title is from the Greek thanatos ("death") and -opsis ("sight"); it has often been translated as "Meditation upon Death". In his last decade, Bryant shifted from writing his own poetry to translating Homer's Iliad and The Odyssey from 1871 to 1874.

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