Freneau, Philip. (1752 - 1832).
L i f e
- received university education (ministry), studied the classics and English poets
- supported the Revolution: contributed patriotic verse for H. H. Brackenridge’s magazine, called the ‘Poet of the American Revolution’
- travelled Indies > idyllic and sensuous lyrics on the obsession with the beautiful things of nature
- established the National Gazette (Pennsylvania): attacked the Federalist policies of A. Hamilton in favour of the policies of T. Jefferson
W o r k
- conflict between the sensuous x the didactic = the splendour of the American landscape x the self-conscious political satire
“A Poem on the Rising Glory of America”:
- in collaboration with Hugh Henry Brackenridge
“The Prison Ship”:
< his own experience of the imprisonment aboard British ships
“The Prophet Jonah”, “The Pyramids of Egypt”:
- fanciful poems on historical subjects
“The Wild Honeysuckle”, “The Indian Burying Ground”:
- his affection for native themes
> anticipated W. C. Bryant’s lush landscapes, R. W. Emerson’s individualism, and W. Whitman’s embrace of the commonplace in America
"At first thy little being came:
If nothing once, you nothing lose,
For when you die you are the same;
The space between, is but an hour,
The frail duration of a flower".
From "The Wild Honeysuckle".
(Engraving: P. Halping. Source: Wikimedia Commons).
AuthorPhilip (Morin) Freneau. (1752 - 1832). American.
WorkPoet. The Poet of the American Revolution.
GenresPolitical poetry. Satire. Nature poetry. Historical subjects.
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