Edward Rowland Sill: An Early American Poet

1783 words - 7 pages

Edward Rowland Sill: An Early American Poet

Edward Rowland Sill was born in Windsor, Connecticut, in 1841. His mother's side of the family was religious, while his father's family was scientific. Deeply rooted in New England heritage, the Sill family could trace their ancestry back to Jonathan Edwards. Sill's background in religion and science led him to a life-long struggle between faith and doubt. He has been described as a "poet of antithesis, torn between intellectual conviction and spiritual question" (Ferguson 1). These qualities strongly shaped his personality as well as his writing style, and influenced him throughout his life as a poet and teacher.

As a child, Sill was weak and constantly in poor health, leading to a chosen life of seclusion. Although he remained active in his later years both teaching and writing, Sill constantly struggled with his introspective qualities. He was quiet and shy, despite a "talent for friendship" (Ferguson 22), which he displayed upon entering Yale at age sixteen. At Yale, Sill spent two years in academic rebellion, refusing to conform to general expectations, and instead choosing to think for himself and follow his thirst for knowledge. During his last two years at Yale he matured into a deep thinker, still yearning for ultimate knowledge. The poems Sill published in the Yale Literary Magazine signaled the start of his writing career.

Despite his university education, Sill remained indecisive about his future career. His love of knowledge pulled him in all directions, from writing to medicine. To make his final decision, he moved to California with his good friend Sextus Shearer. Ultimately, Sill spent a majority of his life writing and teaching, both on the East coast and the West. Constantly traveling across the country, he was torn between his two homes, and between his religious faith and scientific knowledge. Sill died on February 27, 1887, in Cleveland, Ohio. Ferguson concludes that, "To the end of his life he was, in his own phrase,

. . . a clouded spirit; full of doubt

And old misgiving, heaviness of heart

And loneliness of mind; long wearied out

With climbing stairs that lead to nothing sure,

With chasing lights that lure,

In the thick murk that wraps us all about. (201)

Edward Rowland Sill's thought and writing were both largely influenced by the works he read – namely Charles Dickens and especially Alfred, Lord Tennyson, whom he idolized as the "king of poets" (Ferguson 26). However, Sill often took advice from his close friends at Yale, with whom he shared his work. His friend, Henry Holt, arranged for the publication of Sill's first volume of poems. Sextus Shearer, Sill’s closest friend, guided him through years of indecision about his career and supported him in everything he attempted.

Ferguson often compares Sill to both Emerson and Thoreau. Like Emerson, Sill had deep family roots in the New England church; both men went through times of turning away...

Find Another Essay On Edward Rowland Sill: An Early American Poet

"Before Breakfast" by Eugene O'Neill Essay

747 words - 3 pages the only speaking character and her husband Alfred. Alfred's hand is seen once in the play, but not much else. This is symbolic of an absentee husband or a non-existent marriage. Although, Alfred is not seen, he contributes a great deal to the conflict. With only Mrs. Rowland on stage, O'Neill allows the plot to revolve around her. This drama portrays that aspirations and dreams are dashed by hardships and cold reality. A couple

Rogerian Counter Argument Essay

856 words - 3 pages of our freedom, one should not be forced into war, it should be a choice based on one's beliefs.In "Againt the System," James Taylor Rowland refused to get drafted into the military in Vietnam. "James Taylor Rowland was one of many thousands of men who confronted being drafted to serve in the Vietnam in the 1960s and early 1970s."(Rowland 264). Rowland's reasons for refusal of draft were mortal and political. Politically because drafting creates

Look stranger by WH Auden

1939 words - 8 pages pararhyme appears a number of times in Look, Stranger!, is invoked by name.Through all this, Auden labors and plays at establishing a new voice, not simply through experimentation but a protracted engagement with the poetic self. The Orators had been, like The Waste Land , an exercise in ventriloquism and anonymity. In Look, Stranger!, the lyric "I" reemerges in a recognizably Romantic form: "Now from my window-sill I watch the night" (X 1); "Here on

Auden

1939 words - 8 pages pararhyme appears a number of times in Look, Stranger!, is invoked by name.Through all this, Auden labors and plays at establishing a new voice, not simply through experimentation but a protracted engagement with the poetic self. The Orators had been, like The Waste Land , an exercise in ventriloquism and anonymity. In Look, Stranger!, the lyric "I" reemerges in a recognizably Romantic form: "Now from my window-sill I watch the night" (X 1); "Here on

The Extent to Which World War I Influenced the Dada Artistic Movement

2248 words - 9 pages . B. Summary of Evidence When studied with World War 1, “Dada was not an artistic movement in the accepted sense; it was a storm that broke over the world of art as the war did over the nations (Tucker).” In Zurich, the term and movement known as Dadaism emerged in early 1916 (Huelsenbeck). Also being around the time World War 1 began, the movement initially began as performances in the Cabaret Voltaire (Caldwell). In these literary

The Athelete’s Clock

1517 words - 6 pages their central nervous systems that decide such factors as speed, stride frequency, and stride length. Early on in the book, we get a thorough discussion of the concept of time, establishing its importance from several viewpoints. Time is conventionally thought of as a mathematical construct. In this way it is viewed objectively, and can even be calculated with an accuracy of five parts per ten million according to some clocks. There are other ways

Violence on Television- The violence on network television

1660 words - 7 pages currently circulates during most broadcasting hours?" Edward Palmerstates: "The FCC's reluctance to regulate - especially directly aboutviolent content - is consistent with that of many other groups. Becausethe First Amendment guarantees freedom of the press, no direct censorshipos programming has ever been advocated by responsible groups concerned withthe problem of television violence" (124). The American BroadcastingCompany (ABC) holds fast to

Glory, by Edward Zwick

1719 words - 7 pages ask for, or receive, authorization to raise an African-American regiment until January of 1863 (Emilio 2). It was mid-February before Colonel Shaw assumed his duties and began recruiting for the regiment (Emilio 6). The assault on Fort Wagner occurred on July 18, 1863. Given this information it is obvious that there would have been no Christmas celebration in the early days of the 54th. There is also no mention made of Colonel Shaw’s wife

Tulsa Race Riots

1681 words - 7 pages African American citizens were better armed, so as The Crusader reports, “Armed mobs of whites now broke into hardware stores and pawnshops, taking weapons and ammunition” (5). This is where the white mobs were getting hostile, they had more men and they were heavily armed. Then a white man approached an African American male and attempted to take his gun away from him. Shots were then fired which started the June 1, 1921 Tulsa race riot, the

Vampire Genre Storms Popular Culture (Again)

882 words - 4 pages desired victim had not. Vampire victims in early American movies have had multiply things in common. The victims are young, beautiful, and innocent women who have unknowingly been lured to their untimely death by the charming vampire. This prototype is effective for audiences because as famous poet Edgar Allen Poe once said, “the death of a beautiful woman is, unquestionably, the most poetical topic in the world.” Current American tastes have not

CFC'S detroy the Ozone

2218 words - 9 pages environment, we are still left with many decades of decreasing ozone and increased UV exposure. We must think long term and act now.Works CitedFarman, J.C., B.G. Gardiner, and J.D. Shankin. "Large losses of total ozone in Antarticareveal seasonal CIOx/NOx interaction." Nature v.230 (Aug.4,1985): p.205-215.Roach, M. "Sun Track." Health v.201 (May/June 1992): p.119-125.Rowland, F.S. "Chloroflourocarbons and the depletion of stratospheric ozone."American

Similar Essays

An American Poet Essay

1227 words - 5 pages An American Poet The introduction to Stephen Vincent Benét from the Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism states: "He conveyed his faith in the enduring existence of America's fundamental ideals: the virtues of the democratic system of government, the possibility of a common spirit unifying a diverse populus , and, most importantly, the value of the individual" (TCLC 68). Stephen Vincent Benét was an American poet whose

Langston Hughes, An American Poet Essay

1677 words - 7 pages in which they were viewed. He gave hope to those who felt the same way as he did. Although we look back on his work and study it, at the time it was released it had a very real impact on many people. He was not only a voice of the African-American man in a time of oppression, but also an all-around great poet despite race or subject matter. Although he was most famous for his racially motivated poetry, he also wrote children's poetry, fiction

Puritain Values, An Analysis Of Early American Literature.

600 words - 2 pages The literature of early New England reflected the lives and beliefs of Puritan colonists. The basis of their society was structured strictly towards humility and the worship of god. Every action the puritans committed reflected an attitude of humility, for they feared gaudiness would offend the glory of god. As such, the everyday behaviors of puritans were basic and simple, from the food they ate to the clothes they wore. It is no surprise then

An Essay Concerning The Creation Of Government Using The Early American Texts (E.G., The Federalist Papers)

3451 words - 14 pages individual men and women will have to serve some system of government or economics, or whether a system of government and economics exists to serve individual men and women" (Roosevelt, 420).Certainly, the fundamental pillar of any government is its right to existence, established through a Constitution. This constitution is written by the entities that first see a need for an ordered governmental structure. While Thomas Paine's statement that "A