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Colorado (Colorado, United States) (search for this): chapter 6
as a poet it must be said that she seems of late to be half shrinking from her full career, and to be turning rather to the path of descriptive prose. She has always excelled in this: her German Landlady is unsurpassed in its way, and her new experiences of Western residence have only added fulness and finish to this part of her literary work. No one has ever written of frontier-life so well as she, in her Bits of Travel at home ; with such hearty sympathy, with a tone so discriminating, and with such absence of the merely coarse or melodramatic. All the California writers have not secured for the life of that region such a place in the world of art as she is giving to Colorado; all their work, however brilliant, is encumbered with what is crude, cheap, exaggerated, and therefore temporary; hers is clear and firm and strong; and those who regret her absence from her early home can yet rejoice that she dwells amid scenery so magnificent, and in so absorbing a current of human life.
Venice (Italy) (search for this): chapter 6
n In sweet uncalendared spring rain. I watch how all May has of sun Makes haste to have thy ripeness done, While all her nights let dews escape To set and cool thy perfect shape. Ah, fruit of fruits, no more I pause To dream and seek thy hidden laws! I stretch my hand, and dare to taste In instant of delicious waste On single feast, all things that went To make the empire thou hast spent. Verses, p. 166. As the most artistic among her verses I should class the Gondolieds, in which all Venice seems reflected in the movement and cadence, while the thought is fresh and new and strong. Then there are poems which seem to hold all secrets of passion trembling on the lips, yet forbear to tell them; and others, on a larger scale, which have a grander rhythmical movement than most of our poets have dared even to attempt. Of these the finest, to my ear, is Resurgam; but I remember that Charlotte Cushman preferred the Funeral March, and loved to read it in public. Those who heard her c
appearance of imaginary claimants — if imaginary they be — to the honor of this authorship: now a maiden lady in the interior of New York; now a modest young girl whose only voucher, Celia Burleigh, died without revealing her name. I do not know whether any of these claimants took the pains to write out whole stories in manuscript,--as an Irish pretender copied out whole chapters of Miss Edgeworth's Castle Rackrent, with corrections and erasures, --but it is well known that the editors of Scribner's Monthly were approached by some one who professed to have dropped the Saxe Holm stories in the street, and demanded that they should be restored to him. He was suppressed by the simple expedient of inviting him to bring in some specimens of his own poetry, that it might be compared with that of Draxy Miller; but the modest young girls and the apocryphal rural contributors were less easily abolished, though time has abated their demands. The more Mrs. Jackson denied the authorship, the mo
Edgeworth (search for this): chapter 6
s. There has been something quite dramatic in the skill with which the puzzle has been kept alive by the appearance of imaginary claimants — if imaginary they be — to the honor of this authorship: now a maiden lady in the interior of New York; now a modest young girl whose only voucher, Celia Burleigh, died without revealing her name. I do not know whether any of these claimants took the pains to write out whole stories in manuscript,--as an Irish pretender copied out whole chapters of Miss Edgeworth's Castle Rackrent, with corrections and erasures, --but it is well known that the editors of Scribner's Monthly were approached by some one who professed to have dropped the Saxe Holm stories in the street, and demanded that they should be restored to him. He was suppressed by the simple expedient of inviting him to bring in some specimens of his own poetry, that it might be compared with that of Draxy Miller; but the modest young girls and the apocryphal rural contributors were less ea
s showed the hand of Saxe Holm, the occasional verses that of H. H. Both novels brought a certain disappointment: they had obvious power, but were too painful to be heartily enjoyed. After all, the public mind is rather repelled by a tragedy, since people wish to be made happy. Great injustice has been done by many critics, I think, to Hetty's strange history. While its extraordinary power is conceded, it has been called morbid and immoral; yet it is as stern a tale of retribution as Madame Bovary or The scarlet letter. We rarely find in fiction any severity of injustice meted out to a wrong act done from noble motives. In Jean Paul's Siebenkas the husband feigns death in order that his wife may find happiness without him: he succeeds in his effort, and is at last made happy himself. In Hetty's strange history the wife effaces herself with precisely the same object,--for her husband's sake: but the effort fails; the husband is not made happy by her absence, and when they are re
Christina Rossetti (search for this): chapter 6
ads of mystery, and weave them into a substantial fame, this passed the power of public admiration. At any rate, an applause so bewildered could heartily be heard across the Atlantic; and it is almost exasperating to find that in England, for instance, where so many feeble American reputations have been revived only to die, there are few critics who know even the name of the woman who has come nearest in our day and tongue to the genius of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and who has made Christina Rossetti and Jean Ingelow appear but second-rate celebrities. When some one asked Emerson a few years since whether he did not think H. H. the best woman-poet on this continent, he answered in his meditative ay, Perhaps we might as well omit the woman, thus placing her, at least in that moment's impulse, at the head of all. He used to cut her poems from the newspapers as they appeared, to carry them about with him, and to read them aloud. His especial favorites were the most condensed and
w critics who know even the name of the woman who has come nearest in our day and tongue to the genius of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and who has made Christina Rossetti and Jean Ingelow appear but second-rate celebrities. When some one asked Emerson a few years since whether he did not think H. H. the best woman-poet on this continent, he answered in his meditative ay, Perhaps we might as well omit the woman, thus placing her, at least in that moment's impulse, at the head of all. He used O Love, poor Love, why didst thou burn thy ships? Verses, p. 71. H. H. writes another class of poems, that, with a grace and wealth like Andrew Marvell's, carry us into the very life of external nature, or link it with the heart of man. Emerson's Humblebee is not a creation more fresh and wholesome than is My strawberry. O marvel, fruit of fruits, I pause To reckon thee. I ask what cause Set free so much of red from heats At core of earth, and mixed such sweets With sour and spice
Coleridge (search for this): chapter 6
me one asked Emerson a few years since whether he did not think H. H. the best woman-poet on this continent, he answered in his meditative ay, Perhaps we might as well omit the woman, thus placing her, at least in that moment's impulse, at the head of all. He used to cut her poems from the newspapers as they appeared, to carry them about with him, and to read them aloud. His especial favorites were the most condensed and the deepest, those having something of that kind of obscurity which Coleridge pronounced to be a compliment to the reader. His favorite among them all is or was the sonnet entitled Thought. Messenger, art thou the king, or I? Thou dalliest outside the palace-gate Till on thine idle armor lie the late And heavy dews: the morn's bright, scornful eye Reminds thee; then, in subtle mockery, Thou smilest at the window where I wait Who bade thee ride for life. In empty state My days go on, while false hours prophesy Thy quick return; at last in sad despair I cease
Charlotte Cushman (search for this): chapter 6
6. As the most artistic among her verses I should class the Gondolieds, in which all Venice seems reflected in the movement and cadence, while the thought is fresh and new and strong. Then there are poems which seem to hold all secrets of passion trembling on the lips, yet forbear to tell them; and others, on a larger scale, which have a grander rhythmical movement than most of our poets have dared even to attempt. Of these the finest, to my ear, is Resurgam; but I remember that Charlotte Cushman preferred the Funeral March, and loved to read it in public. Those who heard her can never forget the solemnity with which she recited those stately cadences, or the grandeur of her half-glance over the shoulder as she named first among the hero's funeral attendants Majestic death, his freedman, following. H. H. reaches the popular heart best in a class of poems easy to comprehend, thoroughly human in sympathy; poems of love, of motherhood, of bereavement; poems such as are r
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (search for this): chapter 6
ite credible. To take these various threads of mystery, and weave them into a substantial fame, this passed the power of public admiration. At any rate, an applause so bewildered could heartily be heard across the Atlantic; and it is almost exasperating to find that in England, for instance, where so many feeble American reputations have been revived only to die, there are few critics who know even the name of the woman who has come nearest in our day and tongue to the genius of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and who has made Christina Rossetti and Jean Ingelow appear but second-rate celebrities. When some one asked Emerson a few years since whether he did not think H. H. the best woman-poet on this continent, he answered in his meditative ay, Perhaps we might as well omit the woman, thus placing her, at least in that moment's impulse, at the head of all. He used to cut her poems from the newspapers as they appeared, to carry them about with him, and to read them aloud. His especi
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