History Now 39 (Spring 2014)

American Poets, American History

From the Editor

From Virgil to Shakespeare to Walt Whitman, poets have often turned to historical subjects for their topic, preserving historical events and figures in verse. This poetry, in turn, becomes the subject of historical inquiry as scholars explore the context in which the poet lived and the issues of her or his day that resonated with the poet’s choice of a subject from the past. Thus in studying poetry, students can be asked both to examine the poet’s perception of the past and to consider the poet’s own historical moment in time. Because April...More »

Interactive: American Poems, American History

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From the Archives


Featured Primary Sources


For lectures by historians discussing other aspects of literature in American history see the following: