Poems of the Pilgrims
- Spooner, Zilpha Harlow

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Commentary

Zilpha H. Spooner’s anthology Poems of the Pilgrims (1892) collects poems by, among others, Oliver Wendell Holmes, William Cullen Bryant, and Felicia Dorothea Hemans on the founding story of America. In one sense, the poems and photographs do not illustrate each other; rather, they illustrate the Pilgrim story. All of the photographic illustrations are glossed in a list preceding the poems, with a short paragraph on each explaining their historical importance. The photographs show Cole’s Hill, Plymouth Rock and Canopy, Leyden Street, Town Square, Pilgrim Hall, and the National Monument.

In one sense the anthology is photopoetically common in that it takes for its subject a specific place – Plymouth, Mass. – yet at the same time its concern with a particular historical event marks it out from the more general evocations of place found, for instance, in the Wordsworth anthology Our English Lakes (1864), and the poetic narratives of Scott. The Pilgrim story had originally found photopoetic expression in Matthew Brady’s illustrations to Longfellow’s ‘Courtship of Miles Standish’ (1859), one of the earliest photopoetic books in existence.

Book Details

Author: Spooner, Zilpha Harlow
Title: Poems of the Pilgrims
Publication Year: 1882
Poets Featured: Holmes, Oliver Wendell ; Bryant, William Cullen ; Hemans, Felicia Dorothea

This book can be found on the Internet Archive HERE

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