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Chapter 19 - Disciplined Play

American Children’s Poetry to 1920

from Part II - A New Nation: Poetry from 1800 to 1900

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 December 2014

Alfred Bendixen
Affiliation:
Princeton University, New Jersey
Stephen Burt
Affiliation:
Harvard University, Massachusetts
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Summary

Children's poetry is barely studied and barely taught, except as an instrumental teaching tool in colleges of education. American children's poetry, like American literature more generally, took on distinctive characteristics after about 1820, as more work was written and published by Americans. The practice of addressing adults and children together in volumes of poetry spanned the whole nineteenth century, although it was slightly more common during the antebellum period. Most scholarly work on the child like qualities of women authors stresses that, although the voice seems innocent, it is really an adult voice making an adult point. The few poems that Emily Dickinson published in her lifetime appeared mostly in intergenerational venues, like the Springfield Republican, that routinely published poems for a child/adult mixed readership. After the Civil War, children's poetry became relatively less concerned with useful lessons and more concerned with sales.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2014

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  • Disciplined Play
  • Edited by Alfred Bendixen, Princeton University, New Jersey, Stephen Burt, Harvard University, Massachusetts
  • Book: The Cambridge History of American Poetry
  • Online publication: 05 December 2014
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHO9780511762284.022
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  • Disciplined Play
  • Edited by Alfred Bendixen, Princeton University, New Jersey, Stephen Burt, Harvard University, Massachusetts
  • Book: The Cambridge History of American Poetry
  • Online publication: 05 December 2014
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHO9780511762284.022
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Disciplined Play
  • Edited by Alfred Bendixen, Princeton University, New Jersey, Stephen Burt, Harvard University, Massachusetts
  • Book: The Cambridge History of American Poetry
  • Online publication: 05 December 2014
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHO9780511762284.022
Available formats
×