Wordsmiths About the Poets

About The Poets


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Edgar Allan Poe

Richard Lovelace

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Thomas Moore

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Poe, Edgar Allan

Born 1/19/1809 in Boston, Poe was the son of travelling actors. Orphened at age three, Poe went to live with a Richmond, Virginia merchant named John Allan. Allan never adopted Poe, who tried unsuccessfully a large part of his life to please his foster-father.

At age 17 Poe entered the University of Virginia. There he soon took to drink, despite the fact he tolerated alcohol poorly, and small amounts made him ill. Poe was considered unstable and, in the face of a growing gambling debt, was removed from school by Allan.

In 1827, Poe went to Boston and published some of his early poems in a small pamphlet entitled 'Tamerlane and Other Poems.' The next few years contained hardship for Poe, including a short tour as a cadet at West Point. In 1829 he published more of his work in 'Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane and Minor Poems.'

In 1833 he entered his story 'Ms. Found in a Bottle' in a contest, winning $50. This earned him some attention, and later that year he married his 13 year old cousin, Virginia.

The remainder of Poe's career brought him much praise, but little financial reward. The death of his wife, Virginia at age 27 plunged him into despondency. Two years later, in 1849 Poe disappeared on a trip from Richmond to New York, where he was to be married to a former childhood sweetheart. He was found five days later in Baltimore, drunken, drugged and near death. He died on October 7, 1849, at age 40.

Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia and other sources.

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Lovelace, Richard

English Poet, (1618-58) born in London. Best known for his works To Lucasta, On Going To The Wars and To Althea, From Prison.

Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia

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Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth

Longfellow is one of the world's favorite American poets. Born 2/27/1807 in Portland Maine, Longfellow was drawn to writing early in life. His father wished him to become a lawer, and Longfellow attended Bowdoin College. However, as he wrote his father in his senior year "I most eagerly aspire after future eminence in literature."

Eminence he did achieve. After travelling in Europe, Longfellow returned to teach at Bowdoin. During his time there he married a former schoolmate, Mary Porter.

He became a professor at Harvard in 1835, and once again travelled in Europe. Tragically, his wife died on the trip. Longfellow returned to Boston, and eventually remarried.

Longfellow's friend, Nathaniel Hawthorne,provided him with the idea for one of his most famous poems, 'Evangeline, a Tale of Acadie', published in 1847. This was to be the first of a number of epic poems Longfellow penned.

When he died in March of 1882, Longfellow had earned honors from all over the world, including an audience with Queen Victoria.

Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia

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Moore, Thomas

Irish Romanticist poet(1779-1852). Born in Dublin, Moore was very popular in his time. Well known for his lyrics set to music. His works included "Lalla Rookh," "The Last Rose of Summer" and "Believe Me, If All Those Endearing Young Charms."

Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia

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Browning, Elizabeth Barrett

Browning (1806-61), born in Durham, England, read Greek at age 8, and at 12 wrote an epic poem, which her father had printed. She was an active child until she suffered a spinal injury at age 15, which confined her to her bed for most of the next twenty-four years.

She continued to write exceptional poetry, however, which brought many admirers to her bedside. Among these was a younger poet, Robert Browning. They were forced to court in secret, due to Elizabeth's possessive father. She wrote her wonderful "Sonnets from the Portuguese," including her most famous work "How Do I Love Thee" to Robert. Secretly married a year later, they eloped to Italy, where she lived out the rest of her days. She died in June, 1861, followed eight years later by her husband. They had one son.

Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia

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Some material excerpted from Comptonís Interactive Encyclopedia Copyright © 1994, 1995 Comptonís NewMedia, Inc.

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