Herman Melville: Selected Poems

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Overview

This is a new release of the original 1942 edition.
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Selected Poems (Melville, Herman)

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Overview

This is a new release of the original 1942 edition.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143039037
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/27/2006
  • Series: Penguin Classics Series
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 973,393
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.78 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Meet the Author

Herman Melville was born in August 1, 1819, in New York City, the son of a merchant. Only twelve when his father died bankrupt, young Herman tried work as a bank clerk, as a cabin-boy on a trip to Liverpool, and as an elementary schoolteacher, before shipping in January 1841 on the whaler Acushnet, bound for the Pacific. Deserting ship the following year in the Marquesas, he made his way to Tahiti and Honolulu, returning as ordinary seaman on the frigate United States to Boston, where he was discharged in October 1844. Books based on these adventures won him immediate success. By 1850 he was married, had acquired a farm near Pittsfield, Massachussetts (where he was the impetuous friend and neighbor of Nathaniel Hawthorne), and was hard at work on his masterpiece Moby-Dick.

Literary success soon faded; his complexity increasingly alienated readers. After a visit to the Holy Land in January 1857, he turned from writing prose fiction to poetry. In 1863, during the Civil War, he moved back to New York City, where from 1866-1885 he was a deputy inspector in the Custom House, and where, in 1891, he died. A draft of a final prose work, Billy Budd, Sailor, was left unfinished and uncollated, packed tidily away by his widow, where it remained until its rediscovery and publication in 1924.

 Robert Faggen teaches at Claremont McKenna College.

Biography

Herman Melville was born in August 1, 1819, in New York City, the son of a merchant. Only twelve when his father died bankrupt, young Herman tried work as a bank clerk, as a cabin-boy on a trip to Liverpool, and as an elementary schoolteacher, before shipping in January 1841 on the whaler Acushnet, bound for the Pacific. Deserting ship the following year in the Marquesas, he made his way to Tahiti and Honolulu, returning as ordinary seaman on the frigate United States to Boston, where he was discharged in October 1844. Books based on these adventures won him immediate success. By 1850 he was married, had acquired a farm near Pittsfield, Massachussetts (where he was the impetuous friend and neighbor of Nathaniel Hawthorne), and was hard at work on his masterpiece Moby-Dick.

Literary success soon faded; his complexity increasingly alienated readers. After a visit to the Holy Land in January 1857, he turned from writing prose fiction to poetry. In 1863, during the Civil War, he moved back to New York City, where from 1866-1885 he was a deputy inspector in the Custom House, and where, in 1891, he died. A draft of a final prose work, Billy Budd, Sailor, was left unfinished and uncollated, packed tidily away by his widow, where it remained until its rediscovery and publication in 1924.

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA).

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    1. Date of Birth:
      August 1, 1819
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Death:
      September 28, 1891
    2. Place of Death:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      Attended the Albany Academy in Albany, New York, until age 15

Table of Contents

Selected Poems (Melville, Herman) Introduction Suggestions for Further Reading A Note on the Texts

Selected Poems

From Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War (1866)

The Portent Misgivings The Conflict of Convictions Apathy and Enthusiasm The March into Virginia Ball's Bluff DuPont's Round Fight Donelson In the Turret The Temeraire
A Utilitarian View of the Monitor's Fight Shiloh Battle of Stone River, Tennessee The House-top The Armies of the Wilderness On the Photograph of a Corps Commander The Swamp Angel Sheridan at Cedar Creek The College Colonel A Dirge for McPherson At the Cannon's Mouth The March to the Sea The Frenzy in the Wake The Surrender at Appomattox A Canticle The Martyr
"The Coming Storm"
Rebel Color-bearers at Shiloh The Muster
"Formerly a Slave."
Magnanimity Baffled On the Slain Collegians America Verses Inscriptive and Memorial On the Home Guards The Fortitude of the North An Uninscribed Monument On the Grave On a Natural Monument Commemorative of a Naval Victory The Scout toward Aldie Lee in the Capitol A Meditation Supplement

From Clarel (1876)

Part I: Jerusalem I. The Hostel IV. Of the Crusaders XIII. The Arch XVII. Nathan Part II: The Wilderness IV. Of Mortmain XI. Of Deserts XXII. Concerning Hebrews XXXI. The Inscription XXXIV. Mortmain Reappears XXXV. Prelusive XXXVI. Sodom Part III: Mar Saba V. The High Desert XXIX. Rolfe and the Palm XXXII. Empty Stirrups Part IV: Bethlehem XX. Derwent and Ungar XXI. Ungar and Rolfe XXX. The Valley of Decision XXXI. Dirge XXXII. Passion Week XXXIII. Easter XXXIV. Via Crucis XXXV. Epilogue

From John Marr and Other Sailors (1888)

John Marr and Other Sailors John Marr Tom Deadlight Jack Roy Sea-Pieces The Haglets Minor Sea-Pieces The Man-of-War Hawk The Tuft of Kelp The Maldive Shark Crossing the Tropics The Berg The Enviable Isles Pebbles

From Timoleon (1891)

Timoleon After the Pleasure Party The Night-march The Ravaged Villa The Margrave's Birthnight Magian Wine The Garden of Metrodorus The Weaver Lamia's Song In a Garret Monody Lone Founts The Bench of Boors The Enthusiast Art Buddha Cā€”ā€”'s Lament Shelley's Vision Fragments of a Lost Gnostic Poem of the Twelfth Century The Marchioness of Brinvilliers The Age of the Antonines Herba Santa Fruit of Travel Long Ago Venice In a Bye-Canal Pisa's Leaning Tower In a Church of Padua Milan Cathedral The Parthenon Greek Masonry Greek Architecture The Apparition In the Desert The Great Pyramid

From Weeds and Wildings Chiefly: With a Rose or Two (1924)

Clover The Little Good-Fellows Trophies of Peace The American Aloe on Exhibition The New Rosicrucians The New Ancient of Days Immolated The Rusty Man Camoens Montaigne and His Kitten Gold in the Mountain A Spirit Appeared to Me Hearts-of-gold Pontoosuce Billy in the Darbies (from Billy Budd)

Notes Index of First Lines

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Melville is AMAZING

    Okay. Many people think of Melville as the author of Moby-Dick, but he is also a very gifted poet. His poetry is very powerful in its messages, although difficult to understand and comprehend at times. This collection, while not complete, has a lot of Melville's poems in it. By far my favorite one is a short four-line poem entitled "Clover." It is so sweet, so simple, so descriptive. Herman Melville is a great underrated poet who should rank among the greats like Shakespeare, Wilde, and Whitman.

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