RT Book, Whole DB /z-wcorg/ DS http://worldcat.org ID 564132784 LA English T1 American bards : Walt Whitman and other unlikely candidates for national poet A1 Whitley, Edward Keyes., PB University of North Carolina Press PP Chapel Hill YR 2010 SN 1469615215 9781469615219 AB "Edward Whitley's book maps James M. Whitfield, Eliza R. Snow, and John Rollin Ridge prominently onto nineteenth-century American poetic history as a group of poets seeking to become national bards not by embracing the traditional trappings of nationalism but by challenging them. Whitley frames his reading of three lesser-known poets with a revisionary reading of America's iconic poet and offers a revelatory exploration of the nation's scattered and various lost alternative bards. This will be one of the most significant and talked-about books this year in American literature." ED Folsom, University of Iowa, editor of the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review. "Edward Whitley's American Bards is a fascinating, creative look at Walt Whitman in the context of three contemporaries who, though laboring in separate spheres and unknown to each other, also voiced a desire to speak for the nation. Whitley's smart and highly original analysis adds a valuable new chapter to the ongoing story of Whitman's relation to nineteenth-century U.S. poetry." David Haven Blake, author of Walt Whitman and the Culture of American Celebrity. Walt Whitman has long been regarded as the quintessential American bard, the poet who best represents all that is distinctive about life in the United States. Whitman himself encouraged this view, but he was also quick to remind his readers that he was an unlikely candidate for the office of national poet, and that his working-class upbringing and radical take on human sexuality often put him at odds with American culture. White American literary history has tended to credit Whitman with having invented the persona of the national outsider as the national bard, Edward Whitley recovers three of Whitman's contemporaries who adopted similar personae: James M. Whitfield, an African American separatist and abolitionist; Eliza R. Snow, a Mortona pioneer and women's leader; and John Rollin Ridge, a Cherokee Journalist and Native-rights advocate. These three poets not only provide a counter-point to the Whitmanian persona of the outsider bard, but they also reframe the criteria by which generations of scholars have characterized Whitman as America's poet. This effort to resituate Whitman's place in American literary history provides an innovative perspective on the most familiar poet of the United States and the culture from which he emerged. --Book Jacket.