Frederick Goddard Tuckerman: Poems

Revival of interest

In 1909, Walter Prichard Eaton, drama critic and essayist, wrote an article in Forum about Tuckerman and his poetry, after seeing two sonnets in an unpublished manuscript of an anthology of American poems written by Louis How. This article inspired Witter Bynner to enter into correspondence with one of the poet's grandchildren, thereby finding the manuscripts for the remaining sonnets. He published the results in 1931.[1]

N. Scott Momaday brought out the most complete edition available of Tuckerman's works, in 1965, with a quirky ("Winters's heretical, obdurate foreword"[10]) Critical Foreword by Yvor Winters and a biographical/critical introduction by Momaday.

Another writer cited by Momaday in his survey of the revival of interest in Tuckerman's poetry is Edmund Wilson, in his work Patriotic Gore. In that work, Wilson proclaims, rather too hopefully, it seems, of a permanent revival of Tuckerman and his works after the publication of his most famous ode: "A further posthumous poem, The Cricket, was printed, in 1950, as a leaflet by the Cummington Press of Cummington, Massachusetts. So Tuckerman has emerged at last from the obscurity which the retirement of his life invited."[11] Wilson also provides an appreciative short summary of Tuckerman and his works, citing several poems in their entirety.[12]

The only recent critical work of significant length on Tuckerman and his work is Beyond Romanticism: Tuckerman's Life and Poetry (1991), by Eugene England.

A selection of Tuckerman's poetry appears in Three American Poets (2003), edited by Jonathan Bean. His sonnets are sprinkled through several American poetry and sonnet anthologies. The Library of America's American Poetry: The Nineteenth Century, Vol. 2 (1993) contains over 20 selections.

The most recent selection is Selected Poems of Frederick Goddard Tuckerman (The John Harvard Library) (2010), edited by Ben Mazer.

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