American Literature

19th Century American Poets


One of the accepted truths about both Whitman and Dickinson is that they changed American poetry by finally breaking it from the European traditions and formats that most American poets had followed. Because they were so influential, just looking at their poetry really doesn't make the point of how different they were since most poetry since then follows in THEIR tradition. So here are links to examples of poetry from the poets who were considered the great American poets at the time that Whitman and Dickinson were writing.

John Greenleaf Whittier

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Edgar Allan Poe