Poems
- Biddle, Clement

Poets Featured with External Resources

Other Works in the Collection by the Photographer(s)

Related Books by Photographic Process

The Works of Alfred Tennyson (Albumen prints)

The Lady of the Lake (Albumen prints)

Commentary

Containing all the poems already published in the photographically illustrated collection Airdrie and Fugitive Pieces (1872), Biddle’s Poems forms a retrospective of his poetic achievement. Featuring, too, many of the same photographs from Airdrie, Biddle writes in his Preface, ‘It is to be hoped the Illustrations will kindle, not quench, the imagination of the reader.’ The verse introduction to Biddle’s previous book features as the introduction specifically to the poem ‘Airdrie’, in Poems, and appears to gesture towards the photographic illustrations. Biddle notes his specific wish to ‘emulate Longfellow’ – whose illustrated edition of Hyperion (1865) he may have seen – and suggests:

Here are real children’s voices,
Here are real groves and woodlands,
Here are real prospects pleasing.

Ultimately, Biddle hopes to align the apparent truthfulness of the photographic image to his own poetic reminiscences, and, by repeating the word ‘real’, highlights the indexicality of the poems and photographs.

The poem ‘Birnam Wood’ takes for its muse the line from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, ‘Till Birnam wood remove to Dunsinane’ (5.3.2), and numerous other Scottish locales occur in Biddle’s poems, including the coastal town Oban, and Fingal’s Cave on the island of Staffa in the Inner Hebrides. Countless European references infuse Biddle’s verse, including the Matterhorn, a mountain in the Pennine Alps on the border between Switzerland and Italy; the Alpine mountain pass the Col de Balme, on the border between Switzerland and France; and the Blarney Stone near Cork, Ireland.

Book Details

Author: Biddle, Clement
Title: Poems
Publication Year: 1876
Poets Featured: Biddle, Clement
Subjects: American poetry
Photographic process: Albumen prints

This book can be found in the University of St Andrews Library catalogue HERE

Related Books by Subject

Airdrie, Scotland (American poetry)

Airdrie and Fugitive Pieces (American poetry)

Related Photographic Collections