Seventeenth-Century American Poetry

edited by Harrison T. Meserole
Copyright 1968
Checked out 6 times in 36 years
Last checked out 8 years ago

While there’s no harm in having this book on the shelf, there’s also no pressing reason to keep it. The 17th Century was a pretty dull period for American poetry. That fact is actually confirmed by this book’s sections: Major Writers (of which there are only three), Minor Writers (15 are listed), Other Representative Writers (34 listed), and A Selection of Anonymous Verse (14 pages). Any anthology that needs an “other representative writers” category is stretching for material. The three “major” writers in this anthology are also represented in broader collections of American poetry on the shelves, though not as generously.

Although this book isn’t important to have on the shelves, it does have its charms. It certainly has historical value, enhanced by bios of each writer. Even those relegated to the status of “representative” are given a paragraph of introduction. Much of the poetry of that time dealt with religious sentiment and I assume all of it rhymed since free verse had yet to burst on the scene and blank verse was not in vogue. These two qualities should appeal to the people of Albertville. So keep this book on the shelves until it suffers another ten years without circulation and let it go without concern. It’s not important to replace it.

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About jppoetryreader

Poetry reviewer and poetry consultant for libraries
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