American Poetry in the Age of Whitman and Dickinson

For a Commonplace Book 5

with 3 comments

Neglected record of a mind neglected,
Unto what “lets and stops” art thou subjected!
The day with all its toils and occupations,
The night with its reflections and sensations,
The future, and the present, and the past, —
All I remember, feel, and hope at last,
All shapes of joy and sorrow, as they pass, —
Find but a dusty image in this glass.

— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, October 22, 1838

Posthumously published in Samuel Longfellow‘s 1886 biography of the poet and Volume III of the Poetical Works, in the latter case with three other notebook jottings gathered under the heading “Fragments.”


Written by Ben Friedlander

July 10, 2009 at 8:05 am

3 Responses

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  1. I recently found this blog and am really enjoying following it. I’m a PhD candidate at the University of Virginia writing on 19c American poets who were first published posthumously (Davidson, Maria Lowell, Civil War soldier poets, and Dickinson).

    This fragment reminds me of Hardy’s (much later) “I Look Into My Glass.”

    Thanks for the poetry!


    July 10, 2009 at 10:06 am

  2. What a great dissertation topic! Joseph Rodman Drake would be a good counterpart to Lucretia Davidson: he died in 1820; his first book appeared in 1835, edited by his daughter. Poe reviewed it; and the title poem, “The Culprit Fay,” became pretty well known (there’s even a symphonic piece based on it, from 1908, by Henry Kimball Hadley; it’s available in a Naxos recording).

    I like the Hardy poem, which I didn’t know.

    Ben Friedlander

    July 10, 2009 at 11:28 am

  3. I totally get old Henry today.


    July 10, 2009 at 9:31 pm

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