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Under his father's tutelage, he emulated Alexander Pope and other Neo-Classic British poets.
20, 1820), a doctor and later a state legislator, and Sarah Snell (b. He was admitted to the bar in 1815 and began practicing law in nearby Plainfield, walking the seven miles from Cummington every day. His father counseled a legal career as his best available choice, and the disappointed poet began to study law in Worthington and Bridgewater in Massachusetts. The genealogies of both of his parents trace back to passengers on the Mayflower; his mother's to John Alden (b. After just one year at Williams College (he entered with sophomore standing), he hoped to transfer to Yale, but a talk with his father led to the realization that family finances would not support it. The William Cullen Bryant Homestead, his boyhood home, is now a museum. Bryant and his family moved to a new home when he was two years old.In 1817 his father took some pages of verse from his son's desk, and at the invitation of Willard Phillips, an editor of the North American Review who had previously been tutored in the classics by Dr. The editor of the Review, Edward Tyrrel Channing, read the poem to his assistant, Richard Henry Dana, who immediately exclaimed, "That was never written on this side of the water!
" Someone at the North American joined two of the son's discrete fragments, gave the result the Greek-derived title Thanatopsis ("meditation on death"), mistakenly attributed it to the father, and published it.
After clarification of the authorship, the son's poems began appearing with some regularity in the "[Review]".
He was also a nephew of Charity Bryant, a Vermont seamstress who is the subject of Rachel Hope Cleves' 2014 book Charity and Sylvia: A Same-Sex Marriage in Early America.
"The Embargo", a savage attack on President Thomas Jefferson published in 1808, reflected Dr. The first edition quickly sold out — partly because of publicity attached to the poet's young age.
A second, expanded edition included Bryant's translation of classical verse.
During his collegiate studies and his reading for the law, he wrote little poetry, but encounters with the Graveyard Poets and then Wordsworth regenerated his passion for "the witchery of song." "Thanatopsis" is Bryant's most famous poem, which Bryant may have been working on as early as 1811.