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American literary culture's foremost living practitioners, the Fireside Poets Longfellow, Lowell, Emerson, Bryant, Holmes and Whittier, were lionized as the nation's greatest creative spirits. The middle-aged avant-gardists of the 1910s were more oriented toward the exploration of new forms than were their turn-of-the-century predecessors, but both groups' exhibit qualities that mark them as modern in outlook. They are among the earliest manifestations of a defining tendency of twentieth-century American poetry, away from long-standing homiletic and patriotic traditions celebrating normative social values and toward the elaboration of oppositional subject positions. Although the climate of crisis and anxiety in American poetry would not ease substantially until 1912, some attempt to renew interest in contemporary verse can be detected from the middle of the first decade of the century. American verse was economically impossible dreams, insisting on poetry's self-sufficient identity in the modern literary scene.