American Renaissance Biographies
Gershman A Block ILA 9 Honors

Carl Sandburg
Samantha Mikels

xxxxxxOne of the most influential poets of the American Renaissance was Carl Sandburg. Carl was born in Galesburg, Illinois on January 6, 1878 (Carl Sandburg). He was the second child and first son to his parents, August and Clara Sandburg. August and Clara were hard working Swedish immigrants (Meltzer). They did not earn much money but always tried hard to support and keep their family together.
xxxxxxCarl went to school until he was thirteen years old. Then, he worked at many jobs to help support his family. His parents did not make a lot of money so he needed to earn money to help them. Some jobs he did included delivering newspapers, sweeping doorsteps, distributing handbills, barber shop attendant, and milk delivery boy. For jobs such as these, Carl earned about twenty-five cents a day (Carl (August) Sandburg). Even though that is not a lot of money, it still helped his family. The rest of Carl’s childhood was pretty normal except for one tragic event, the death of his two younger brothers. When his brothers Emil and Fred became sick with Diphtheria, they died shortly after. At this point Carl was sixteen and earning twelve dollars a month (Meltzer). This was good because his earned money helped to pay for his brothers doctors and burial costs.
xxxxxxFollowing the death of his brothers, Clara had another daughter. The family was really suffering at this time because of their grief and money problems. Carl’s new sister just made things worse. Nearing the great depression, many families suffered including Carl’s. Around this time, Carl got very interested in politics and decided he was a democrat (Meltzer).
Carl Sandburg (ABC-CLIO)
Carl Sandburg (ABC-CLIO)
When Carl turned nineteen, he enlisted in the army. At this time, the United States was fighting in the Spanish-American War. He was stationed in Puerto Rico. This war only lasted five months and in the end, America acquired Puerto Rico but gave up Cuba (Carl (August) Sandburg).
After the war was over, Carl decided to go to college. He went to Lombard College located in Illinois. In college, Carl was very successful and known as the “campus big shot” (Meltzer). People may have called him that because he was the editor-in-chief of the college’s newspaper The Lombard Review, and the captain of the school’s basketball team. After four great years in college, Carl graduated in 1902 (Carl (August) Sandburg).
xxxxxxBeing in the real world after college, Carl was unsure of what to do with his life. He decided to travel around as a salesman. For a while he lived in New York where his first poem was published. It was called “The falling Leaves” and was printed into a newspaper after Sandburg submitted the poem to it. After that, Carl continued traveling. He visited Whalt Whitman’s home in Camden, New Jersey. Carl greatly admired Whitman’s poetry his whole life. Visiting his home made Carl more interested in poetry and then he moved back to Illinois. Once again back in his home state, Carl took a job as a fireman that his brother suggested for him. He earned a lot of money at this job and at the same time wrote articles for the Galesburg newspaper (Meltzer).
xxxxxxGetting tired of his simple small town life, Carl moved to the busy city of Chicago. There Carl got a writing job at the newspaper To-Morrow. While writing for the paper, Carl lived in an apartment with several other writers, he loved it (Meltzer). Still interested in poetry, Carl sent his poems to many publications but they were often rejected, sent back with constructive criticism. Earning a name for himself, Carl took a full time writing job at The Lyceumite. When The Lycemite merged with another company, Carl lost his job but was offered others. By now, Carl knew he was a great writer and wanted to wait for a great job opportunity. At this time Carl was also a well known speaker hired to give lectures (Meltzer).
xxxxxxOne night at a party, Carl met Lilien Steichen a very beautiful high school teacher. Lilien and Carl were married the following summer (Carl Sandburg). She loved his poetry and supported him. While together, they had daughters Margaret, Janet, and Helga (Carl (August) Sandburg). With a family, Carl still needed to find a steady job.
xxxxxxIn Milwaukee, Carl took a full time editorial position at The Milwaukee Journal. When Carl’s job there ended, he had countless jobs at many newspapers but kept losing them when the papers collapsed. Many of his poems were being published at this time though including “Chicago” and “Fog” these poems were popular. Finally, Carl got a steady job at The Chicago Daily News (Meltzer).
For the next thirteen years, Carl worked at the Chicago Daily News as a reporter, editor, and writer. During these years his poetry career really took off. Two of his most popular poetry books were Chicago Poems and Cornhuskers. His free verse poems were about America and things going on in America. He also published four volumes of poetry titled Smoke and Steel, Slabs of the Sunburnt West, Selected Poems, and Good Morning America. Although his poems received a lot of criticism, most people loved his poetry (Carl Sandburg).
xxxxxxSaid to be Sandburg’s greatest poem, was his epic six-volume biography of Abraham Lincoln. From 1926 to 1939, Sandburg wrote this massive biography. All of his life, Carl looked up to and admired Lincoln and thought this was a great way to honor him. This biography represented Abraham Lincoln as the definition of great American spirit (Carl Sandburg). This work of Sandburg’s rewarded him with the Pulitzer Prize in 1939 (Carl (August) Sandburg).
xxxxxxFor the rest of Carl Sandburg’s Life, he wrote poems and songs that he performed with a guitar. His poems were about America, justice, and equality. He won over thirty awards and worked very hard on his poetry. Carl resided in Flat Rock, North Carolina where he died of Alzheimer’s on July 22, 1967 at age eighty-nine (Meltzer).
xxxxxxCarl’s poetry was very unique to the time, it was written in free verse. He just let the words flow and whatever he came up with was what he used. The world was not used to poetry like his and he introduced the world to free verse poetry (Carl (August) Sandburg).
xxxxxxCulturally, Sandburg’s poetry inspired many people. He wrote his poetry about politics and current events but made them connect to the average person. His poetry helped people get through tough times like war and the great depression. It also gave people something to talk about because most people enjoyed his poetry but some criticized it for it’s never before seen style (Carl (August Sandburg).
xxxxxxCarl Sandburg’s poetry was very impacting when it was written and it still is today. He wrote it about family, nature, love, freedom, and America. All of those things are still in our lives today and connect to so many people. Carl Sandburg was one of the most influential poets of the American Renaissance and still is influential today.

Works Cited"Carl (August) Sandburg." Biography Resource Center. 23 Oct. 2008

"Sandburg." American History. 2008. ABC-CLIO. 28 Oct. 2008 .

Meltzer, Milton. Carl Sandburg A Biography. Galesburg, Illinois: Twenty-First
Century Books, 1999.

Carl Sandburg With Guitar. 28 Oct. 2008 <
carl_sandburg_with_guitar.jpg&imgrefurl=http:>. (Image)

Carl Sandburg. the day carl sandburg died. 21 Oct. 2008
>. (Image)

Walt Whitman
Carolyn Messer

xxxxxxWalter Whitman, nicknamed Walt, was one of the nine children born to Walter Whitman and Louisa Van Velsor Whitman. Walt was born May 31st,
1819, making him the second child of the Whitman’s. Walt was born in West Hills, Long Island, New York. It became known that he didn’t particularly enjoy his childhood life, due to his alcoholic father and his family’s difficult economic status. His fondest memory of his childhood was when he was lifted in the air and kissed on the cheek by Marquis de Lafayette, a famous French soldier, during a 4th of July celebration (White).
xxxxxxWhen young Walt was four, the Whitman’s moved from West Hills to Brooklyn, New York, living in a series of homes. By age 11, Walt had completed public school. He then went out into the real world to search for a job. Walt knew that he needed to aid his family with their financial situation. Walt first worked as an office boy for two lawyers, and then later as an apprentice in a printing shop for the weekly Long Island paper, the
Patriot. There, Walt learned about the printing press, and also wrote a few “sentimental bits” for occasional issues (White).
xxxxxxWhen his family moved back to West Hills, Walt stayed in Brooklyn and took a job with a different newspaper, the
Long-Island Star. During his time with Star, Walt published some of his early works in the New York Mirror. At age seventeen, Walt rejoined his family in Long Island. There he taught at various schools during the year1838. However, Walt soon found that teaching was not what he was meant to do (“Walt Whitman” ABC-CLIO). After teaching for a short while, Walt moved back to New York to create his own newspaper, the Long Islander. However, this was not meant to be as well (Meltzer). Later, Walt continued to jump around to different jobs with newspapers and he even tried to teach again (Meltzer).
xxxxxxWalt claimed that he was determined to become a poet after years of attempting to maintain a “normal” job. He first wrote some pieces that he thought would appeal to the public eye. By 1850, Whitman had begun his most famous work:
Leaves of Grass. Although he had written some other pieces before then, this was by far the most controversial and popular (White). Leaves of Grass was a collection of poems, originally 12 poems, that Whitman continued editing and revising until his death. Whitman paid for the publication of the first edition himself and had it printed at a local print shop. A total of 795 copies of Leaves of Grass were printed. However, Whitman’s name was not printed on the cover of the book; instead, just a picture of Walt was engraved on the inside cover (Meltzer).
xxxxxxThe book was highly praised by Ralph Waldo Emerson, a well-known poet of the time, who wrote a five page letter to Whitman and spoke highly of the book to his friends and family. The first edition of
Leaves of Grass stirred up great interest, partly from Emerson’s open approval. However, the majority of responses on Whitman’s book were disapproval. The novel was considered obscene, trashy, and profane due to the extreme sexual content of the poems (White). On top of the harsh criticism, Walt’s father died a few days later at the age of 65. Walt’s life didn’t seem to be going as he had planned.
xxxxxxThe second version of
Leaves of Grass was already published and bound by this point, but the publisher almost did not release it because of the harsh response to the first version. The edition went into retail in 1856, with twenty more poems added to the piece. Leaves of Grass was published again in 1860, 1867, and several more times all throughout Whitman’s life. Some renowned writers of the time admired Whitman’s works enough to visit him, some being Bronson Alcott and Henry David Thoreau (Meltzer). Throughout Whitman’s journey of writing and rewriting Leaves of Grass, he faced financial difficulties and was forced to work as a journalist once again. This time, Walt found a job with the Brooklyn Daily Times in May 1857. However, he left the job in 1859; it is unknown whether he quit or was fired.
xxxxxxAs the Civil War was beginning, Walt wrote “Beat! Beat! Drums!” This poem was praising the north in hope that they would win the war. His inspiration for this poem was from his brother George, who joined the Union army and often sent him detailed letters of battles and life during the war. Walt read a newspaper article indicating that “George W. Whitmore” had died in battle, and he was afraid that it was his brother, so Whitman traveled south to find George, which he did. George was alive with only a wound on his cheek. ("Walt Whitman" ABC-CLIO).
xxxxxxWalt was inspired by the soldiers who were very badly injured. Seeing the piles of limbs strewn everywhere made Walt want to help these soldiers. With the help of a friend, Walt found a job at a hospital in Washington D.C. where he would be a nurses’ aid. He used these experiences to write “The Great Army of the Sick” which was published in a New York newspaper in 1863, and also 12 years later in Walt's book called
Memoranda During the War. Whitman then wanted to get a job with a government post. However, when they discovered that Whitman was the author of Leaves of Grass, they immediately rejected his request (White).
Walt Whitman (ABC-CLIO)
Walt Whitman (ABC-CLIO)

xxxxxxThe Whitman family had a hard time in 1864. On September 30th, Walt’s brother, George, was captured by the Confederate army while another brother, Andrew, died of tuberculosis on December 3rd. Later that month, Walt sent his brother, Jesse, to the Kings County Lunatic Asylum. As you can see, 1864 took a hard toll on Walt. “Whitman struggled to support himself through most of his life. In Washington, he lived on a clerk’s salary and modest royalties, and spent any excess money” (qtd. in“Walt Whitman” Poets.Org). A month later, Walt’s brother was released from captivity. Soon after, Walt published his poem, "Drum-Taps."
xxxxxxOnce again, Whitman was fired when his boss discovered that he was the writer of
Leaves of Grass. Walt’s good friend William O’Connor published a pamphlet out of anger, defending Whitman and increasing his popularity. Whitman’s popularity was further increased with the publication of “O Captain! My Captain!” Walt’s 1867 version of Leaves of Grass was published later than expected because he had a hard time finding a publisher. Another version was copied in 1871, after it was reported that its’ unknown author died in a rail road accident, which proved to be untrue (“Walt Whitman” ABC-CLIO).
xxxxxxIn early 1873, Whitman had a stroke. Later that year, his mother passed away. These events caused Walt to go into a state of depression, so he moved in with his brother, George in Camden, New Jersey until he found a house. When Walt found a house of his own, he published three more editions of
Leaves of Grass. As the end of 1891 approached, Whitman prepared a final edition of Leaves of Grass. This final addition has been nicknamed the “Deathbed Edition.” The last piece of writing that Whitman ever created was "Good-Bye, My Fancy" in late 1891 (“Walt Whitman” Poets.Org).
xxxxxxWalt Whitman died on March, 26th, 1892. An autopsy revealed that his lungs had reduced his breathing capacity by almost 90 percent. This was a result of bronchial pneumonia and an egg-sized abscess on his chest which had eroded one of his ribs. Over 1,000 people came to his viewing followed by his funeral. Another public ceremony was held at the cemetery, with speeches, music, and refreshments; more celebrating his life than mourning his death.
xxxxxxWalt Whitman’s legacy still lives on. He was known as the father of free verse, and was claimed as America’s first “poet of democracy” (White). One of Whitman’s admirers, William Sloane Kennedy, said that “people will be celebrating the birth of Walt Whitman as they are now the birth of Christ.” Whitman’s lifestyle was adopted by the Beat Generation and its leaders; some including Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Adrienne Rich, and Gary Snyder. Many people believe that Walt Whitman shaped American History, and although he is gone, his poetry and writings will never be forgotten.

Works Cited
Meltzer, Milton. Walt Whitman: A Biography. N.p.: Twenty-First Century Books, 2002.
“Walt Whitman.” ABC-CLIO: American History. 2008. 28 Oct. 2008 <>.
“Walt Whitman.” 1997. 28 Oct. 2008 <‌poet.php/‌prmPID/‌126>.
White, James T. “Whitman.” Wilson Web. 2002. 28 Oct. 2008 <>.

Works Consulted
“Walt Whitman.” Biography Resource Center. Vers. 42. 2002. Authors and Artists for Young Adults. 23 Oct. 2008 xxxxxx<‌servlet/‌BioRC>.
“Walt Whitman.” Biography Resource Center. Vers. 2. Encyclopedia of World Biography. 23 Oct. 2008 xxxxxx<‌servlet/‌BioRC>.

Emily Dickinson
Jess Bellis
xxxxxxEmily Dickinson. The name is known around the world, her works published in many languages. The name associated with the greats of poetry such as Whitman, Hughes, Frost, and more, but who is Emily Dickinson? Known as the “New England mystic” and the “Riddle of Amherst” Dickinson went through a lot, but in turn it made her the renowned poet she is known as today, author of over 1,775 poems and a elected member of The National Women’s Hall of Fame, two very large accomplishments.
Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was born to Edward Dickinson and his wife Emily Norcross Dickinson on December 10, 1830 in Amherst, Massachusetts. Emily was the Dickinson’s second child, but eldest daughter. Her older brother William Austin, was the Dickinson’s only son. After Emily was born, the Dickinson’s third and final child came a few years later when Lavinia Dickinson joined the family (“Emily Dickinson” Authors and Artists for Young Adults).The life of the Dickinsons revolved a good deal around Edward’s job and status. The head of the household, being a well-known lawyer, the treasurer of Amherst College, and a man who served one term in Congress, Edward brought his children up well (Merriam-Webster). Although he was not as involved in the Dickinson family as his wife, Edward was the most important influence on Emily while she was young. His involvement in society and the amount of knowledge he had were two traits in which Emily strove to follow (“Emily Dickinson” Authors and Artists for Young Adults).
xxxxxxAt the age of 11, Emily started official schooling at Amherst Academy where she learned French, Latin, history, geology, botany, and philosophy (“Emily Dickinson” Authors and Artists for Young Adults). At such a young age Emily was already showing signs of being a very intelligent young woman. Only six years later, Miss Dickinson graduated from the academy in 1847 (“Emily Dickinson.” Encyclopedia of World Biography). After graduating from Amherst Academy, Emily left her hometown of Amherst for South Hadley, Massachusetts. For only a year in South Hadley, Emily studied at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. Once at the seminary, there are multiple reasons as to why Emily left after only one year of study. Many say that she suffered from homesickness of Amherst and her family. There is also facts to back up that Dickinson was not in the best of health during her stay at Mount Holyoke and that might have been a deciding factor in her return to her much loved home of Amherst. The last reason some suspect Emily left was because of the fact that the girls at the seminary were strongly suggested to join the church, a move she was not sure she was all for. Emily’s thoughts and ideas for and against churches and their beliefs led to become a base theme in many of her later poems. Once back home in Amherst, Emily became a part of the family once again, and took to her eldest daughter duties of housekeeper. During this time Emily was involved in society, she went to parties, had guests over, and was a normal young unmarried woman. Along with her sister Lavinia, who was also not married, Emily tended to the Homestead- the Dickinson family’s home (“Emily Dickinson” Authors and Artists for Young Adults).
Emily Dickinson (ABC-CLIO)
Emily Dickinson (ABC-CLIO)

xxxxxxAfter a few years of normal life back in Amherst, Emily started her decline to becoming a recluse of the 19th century. Around 1850, along with slowly disentangling herself from society, Emily started writing poetry. Exceptional writings and poets such as John Keats, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Isaac Watts, and the verse of the Bible all influenced much of Emily’s writing (“Emily Dickinson” Encyclopedia of World Biography). Aside from the influence other poets had on Dickinson’s work, Emily also found mentors in her daily life. These included her father; Samuel Bowles, an editor of the newspaper the
Springfield Republican; and finally Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a famous literary critic of the time (Adamson). These three men in their own way set Emily on her path to becoming a famous poet. Her father’s strong work ethic and values were shown through Emily Dickinson’s work. Emily followed these traits as well as agreeing in his belief that a proper education was necessary for all of his children, and that all should be able to think for themselves. Emily showed how she thought for herself, through her poems and writings (Berry). As well as being a possible love interest of Emily’s, Bowles was a constant pen pal with her too. Their correspondence through letters consisted of many of Emily’s poems as well as Bowles sending Emily some of his favorite poems. Although Bowles was an editor of a paper, and could have very easily published many of Dickinson’s poems but did not because of her originality. By this I mean, the opinions most people of Dickinson’s day possessed about poetry were that it needed to consist of “strong rhymes, regular meter, safe and known illusions” to be good (qtd. in “Emily Dickinson” Authors and Artists for Young Adults). The way Emily wrote would not be fully appreciated until much later when her poetry’s true flow and meaning was found and recognized. Lastly, Higginson was the person Emily went to when considering publishing her work. At first, Thomas suggested not to bother publishing, but then after Emily died, he actually helped in the compiling of her poetry to be published. Although T.W. Higginson did reject her poetry, Dickinson still became friends with him and through their letters, she learned of the outside world that she was far from. Even if not intended, Thomas Wentworth Higginson’s disapproval of her poetry just drove Emily Dickinson even deeper into her seclusion and withdrawal from the public, but he did end up giving her a friend and someone to talk to in her lonely times (Merriam-Webster).
xxxxxxBy the late 1850s, Emily barely left her family’s grounds and almost never saw anyone besides family members face-to-face. Staying at home and not going out left plenty of time on her hands, so Emily wrote, and wrote, and wrote. From 1858 to 1866, Emily Dickinson wrote more than 1100 poems, all unique and original in Emily’s signature form ("Emily Dickinson" Encyclopedia of World Biography), in the year 1862 alone, she wrote more than 366 poems. All of her poems she collected and wrote in hand-sewn, string-bound journals that Emily herself called “fascicles”. Although Emily Dickinson wrote during the times of the Civil War, Emily was not inspired by this great political and cultural event as much as what emotions and feelings she was witnessing deep inside herself. Her poems although ranged, consisted mainly of love and withdrawal from love, death, nature, and God. Of all these topics, Dickinson focused quite often on love and her love interests. Although her previous love interests did not go quite well, when in the last 20 years of her life, she had a bad eye, was writing less than 50 poems a year, and had to do more work around the house, she found a possible husband and true love in Judge Otis Lord (“Emily Dickinson” Authors and Artists for Young Adults).
xxxxxxThe relationship between Judge Otis P. Lord and Emily Dickinson came after Emily’s father’s sudden death 1874, and her mother becoming paralyzed after a stroke in 1875 (Academy of American Poets). This resulted in many of the key duties of the house on Emily’s shoulders since her older brother Austin was off and married. When Judge Lord came into Emily’s life, she finally believed she had a chance at real love to brighten her last years. Although Emily and Judge Lord might have had a chance at marriage, the deaths of many of Emily’s family and beloved friends caused a downturn in her life. The deaths included that of her mother in 1882, her favorite nephew in 1883, and the Lord himself in 1884. Finally, Emily Elizabeth Dickinson herself died on May 15, 1886 ("Emily Dickinson" Encyclopedia of World Biography).
xxxxxxAlthough only several of Emily Dickinson’s poems were published during her life, the real works of Emily’s were showcased after her death. Emily’s sister, Lavinia and T. W. Higginson with help from Mabel Loomis Todd, a family friend, published the first volume of Poems by Emily Dickinson in 1890. The first volume was such a success and loved by many, when published, that the second and third followed quickly coming in 1891 and then 1896. Although these were greatly liked, they were not Emily Dickinson’s original writing Higginson and Todd edited and titled all of her works, which took away their originality. Finally, in 1955 Thomas H. Johnson put together all of the known poems by Emily Dickinson in their original form chronologically and published them in a three-volume edition for the Harvard University Press. With all of Dickinson’s known 1,775 poems, included Johnson’s edition is now thought of as the standard (“Emily Dickinson” Authors and Artists for Young Adults).
xxxxxxThe legacy of Emily Dickinson lives on through her poems even today as can be seen by almost every high school and college student reading at least one of her works sometime during their school career. Her works although untitled are known by heart by many students required to memorize her poems. In addition, although publishers and critics like Higginson did not like Emily’s original and unique style in the 19th century, it is highly acclaimed and well known to this very day. Joyce Carol Oates, an American novelist and critic says of Emily Dickinson, “No one who has ever read even a few of Dickinson’s extraordinary poems can fail to sense the heroic nature of this poet’s quest…a romance of epic proportions…a quality of personality and vision unlike any other…an American artist of words as inexhaustible as Shakespeare” (as qtd. in “Emily Dickinson” Authors and Artists for Young Adults). No matter which way you look at it, Emily Elizabeth Dickinson even over a century after she was alive and writing poetry still influences many lives today and can certainly be said to be one of the greatest American poets of all time.

Works Cited:
Academy of American Poets. “Emily Dickinson.” 2008. 28 Oct. 2008 <‌poet.php/‌prmPID/‌155>.
Adamson, Lynda G. “Emily Dickinson.” Notable Women in American History. West Port, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1999.
Berry, S. L. Emily Dickinson. Mankato, Minnesota: Creative Education, 1994.
“Emily Dickinson.” Authors and Artists for Young Adults. Vol. 22. Biography Resource Center. Gale. 28 Oct. 2008 xxxxxx<‌itweb/‌?db=BioRC>.
“Emily Dickinson.” Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2nd ed. Vol. 17. Biography Resource Center. Gale. 28 Oct. 2008 xxxxxx<‌itweb/‌?db=BioRC>.
Merriam-Webster. “Emily Dickinson.” Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of American Writers. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, xxxxxx2001. 111-112.

A Man of Mystery and Horror
The Biography of Edgar Allan Poe

James Gordon

Through the 1800’s literature was about charming stories filled with happy endings and set in fairy tail lands where everyone lived happily ever after. In 1809 one man was born into the world that would forever change literature. He would imagine some of the most terrifying tales that scared even the paper that they were to be written on. This man changed the way that we view horror stories and the Romantics Gothic Novel. In 1809 Edgar Allan Poe was born into the world (Schoell).
1809 was a magical yet heartbreaking year for the Poe family. David and Eliza gave birth to their son Edgar. Six months later the Poe’s moved to New York. Soon after moving to New York, David abandoned his family leaving Eliza as a single mother. On December 8, 1811 at only the age of two, Edgar’s mother away. Edgar was separated from his siblings and went to live with John and Frances Allan (Schoell). Although they loved Edgar as their own the Allan’s never legally adopted him (LeVert). The Allan family moved to Scotland and then to England moving Edgar with them (Schoell). Although he loved England Edgar hated going to school. He attended Manor House School and eventually became a slight discipline problem (LeVert). At last in 1820, John moved his family back to Virginia in the United States (Schoell, William). The move was not all bad for Edgar. After moving back he met his first crush, Jane Standard to whom he dedicated “To Helen”, one of his earliest works (LeVert).
Moving back to Virginia was a new chapter in Poe’s life. He attended the University of Virginia in 1826(Schoell). Although a smart young man, Edgar also had his hand in a few meaning less pranks. One of which he etched his name in a pane of glass which remains imbedded in the pane today. Later in 1827 Poe enlisted in the US Army. The army is where Edgar really got his start writing poetry. He wrote for the Army’s newspaper and everyone liked his stories. A year later after serving at Fort Moultrie he was honorably discharged from the army. Sadly the next year his step-mother Frances Allan died in 1829. Not knowing where to turn after the death of the only mother that he ever knew, Poe turned once again to the armed forces. He attended West Point Academy the next year, after only one year he was made court-marshaled one of his proudest moments (Schoell).
The death of his father, John Allan, in 1834 once again left him orphaned. Now Edgar was left in the world alone. He knew now that he would have to support himself and that he was out on his own. So he got a job working for
Southern Literary Messenger which was similar to a literary magazine today. Before long he got fired for drinking on the job. After being put down for so long, Poe went to visit his cousins and Aunt in Baltimore. There he fell in love with his beautiful cousin Virginia Clemm. Soon their love was unbreakable so in 1836 Poe was married to his 14 year-old cousin Virginia. He and his new wife moved back to Virginia where Edgar got a job working for the Messenger. Once again he was let go for drinking on the job (Schoell).
Edgar Allan Poe (monocar08)

So with no job and very little money in his pocket, Poe and his wife Virginia moved to Philadelphia in 1838. This began a new chapter in the never ending writing career for Edgar Allan Poe. He wasted no time getting to work. The next year he published one of his most famous stories and my personal favorite, “Fall of the House of Usher,” (Schoell). Edgar also tried to start a literary magazine the
Penn but his attempt was unsuccessful (LeVert).
1841 brought about a new era in writing started by Poe himself. With the publishing of “The Murders in Rue Morgue” he accidentally invented the detective novel. The next year he published another story “The Masque of the Red Death,” (Schoell). That year all was not well in the Poe residence. Edgar fell ill with tuberculosis (LeVert). Although sick and suffering with a brutal cough, it did not stop his determination to write. It didn’t he published “The Pit and the Pendulum,” in 1843 (Schoell).
Seeing that he’s going no where in Philadelphia, Poe and his wife moved to New York where he became editor of the
New York Evening Mirror (LeVert). 1845 was an excellent year for Poe. In his New York home Poe got his inspiration for his most famous story, “The Raven.” He also became the sole proprietor of the Broadway Journal. Edgar’s good fortune soon ended as his wife Virginia passed away in 1847(Schoell).
However Poe wasted no time finding a new sole mate. In the same year he proposed to Helen Whitman (Schoell). She brutally rejected him. Again in 1849 he proposed to Elmire Royster Shelton in Richmond, she too rejected him (LeVert).
Heartbroken and torn, Edgar began to drink heavily. He was depressed and saddened by the loss of his wife and went into a state of depression. On October 3 he was found delirious wandering the streets in Baltimore (LeVert). On October 7, 1849 Edgar Allan Poe passed away (Schoell).

Works Cited

LeVert, Suzanne. Edgar Allan Poe. New York, New York: Chelsea House Publishers,
Schoell, William. Mystery and Terror the Story of Edgar Allan Poe. Greensboro,
North Carolina: Morgan Reynolds Publishing Inc., 2004.
Monocarc80. Edgar A. Poe. Photograph. 14 Apr. 2008. Flicker. 21 Oct. 2008 <>.

Robert Lee Frost
Jamie Ledwith

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRobert Lee Frost was a very unique American poet in the 19th-20th century. He was born on March 26, 1874 in San Francisco. After Robert’s father, a newspaper reporter named William Prescott passed away in 1885, the whole family moved to Massachusetts to live with his mother’s side of the family. Robert attended Lawrence High School, where he graduated in 1892. Throughout his childhood, Robert worked in a textile mill, which had horrible working conditions ("Robert Frost." American History). As he got older, Robert became a farmer and taught at several different schools ("Robert, Frost (Lee)").
Robert Frost (ABC-CLIO)
Robert Frost (ABC-CLIO)
IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRobert Lee Frost attended Dartmouth College for a short period of time, and later enrolled in Harvard University. He managed a family farm in New Hampshire, but was later faced with financial troubles, so the Frost family sold the farm. This occurred when Robert was 38 years old, which was in 1912 ("Robert, Frost (Lee)"). The family moved to England, where Frost anticipated becoming a highly established poet. Here, Robert published two collections of poems. These two collections,
A Boy’s Will and North of Boston, helped to set Robert’s career on track. In 1915, Robert and his family returned to America amidst World War I, where Frost found himself a poet with a little bit of a reputation ("Robert Frost." American History).
Frost suffered a sad and depressing life, but still managed to become a well-known and respected poet and lecturer. Robert’s father died in 1885, when Robert was only 11 years old. Also, Robert had six children; Elliott, Lesley, Carol, Irma, Marjorie, and Elinor Bettina. Elliott, Carol, Marjorie, and Elinor Bettina all passed away, only adding more misery and loneliness to Robert’s life ("Robert Frost." Biography Resource Center). His wife Elinor Miriam White, also passed on ("Robert Frost." American History). Somehow through all of this, Robert still managed to focus his poetry on simple, naturalist and botanist ideas ("Robert, Frost (Lee)"). Robert had a very simple style of writing ("Robert Frost." American History), and he most frequently wrote in the vernacular so that his works could be easily understood by the common people ("Robert Frost." Biography Resource Center). He believed that a simple and meaningful metaphor was the best poetry technique that a poet could use to get through to their readers. He wrote about his botanist ideas and used his writings, for instance “Mending Wall” and “Birches” to clearly portray his attachment and love of the farms and countryside in New England ("Robert Frost." American History). Robert once said that a poem has to be about something that is very meaningful and matters, and it must be powerful enough to “move the reader to a new understanding (qtd. in "Robert Frost." American History)”.
IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIWhen Robert returned to America he was overwhelmed with offers from quite a few colleges and universities asking for him to accept several visiting positions. Frost did accept many of these positions, which helped boost his career and his name was heard frequently throughout the nation ("Robert Frost." American History). Robert Lee Frost was a teacher at Pinkerton Academy, Amherst College, and helped found the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College in the year 1920 ("Robert, Frost (Lee)"). Poetry used to be a mere hobby that he enjoyed in his free time, but now his works were taking over his life and captivating the hearts of the nation. Frost had over 6 volumes and collections of poetry published, which included over 15 poems. He was finally the poet that he always longed to be ("Robert Frost." Biography Resource Center).
IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIFrost’s career steadily continued, and he won several awards for his amazing works. Robert received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry four times throughout his rewarding career. The first was for his volume entitled
New Hampshire, which was awarded in 1924. The second Pulitzer Prize was for Collected Poems, which was published in 1930 and awarded in 1931. The Third prize was for A Further Range, published in 1936, and received an award in 1937. Last but not least, Robert Frost received a Pulitzer Prize for A Witness Tree//, which received an award in 1943. Aside from the Pulitzer Prize’s that Robert Frost received, he was also awarded the Gold Medal of the Poetry Society of America in 1941 and 1958. Robert was so well established and unique that he was given the opportunity to present a poem at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy in 1961. Another award that Robert received was a gold medal from the US Senate on March 24, 1950. All in all, Robert obtained over 18 awards and received more than forty honorary degrees from colleges and universities. He was initiated into the American Poet’s Corner at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in 1986, and was also chosen poet laureate of Vermont. Last but not least, Robert Lee Frost received a Bollingen Prize after his death ("Robert Frost." Biography Resource Center). Robert Lee Frost died on January 29, 1963, and many people considered him the poet laureate of America ("Robert, Frost (Lee)").

Works Consulted
"Robert Frost." American History. 2008. ABC-CLIO. 28 Oct. 2008
"Robert Frost." Biography Resource Center. 2008. Gale. Springfield Township High
School. 23 Oct. 2008 <>.
"Robert, Frost (Lee)." Def. 151. Merriam Webster's Dictionary of American

Works Cited
Robert Frost. Photograph. American History. ABC-CLIO. 28 Oct. 2008
"Robert Frost." American History. 2008. ABC-CLIO. 28 Oct. 2008