Over the River and Through the Wood: An Anthology of Nineteenth-Century American Children's Poetry [NOOK Book]

Overview

Over the River and Through the Wood is the first and only collection of its kind, offering readers an unequaled view of the quality and diversity of nineteenth-century American children's poetry. Most American poets wrote for children—from famous names such as Ralph Waldo Emerson to less familiar figures like Christina Moody, an African American author who published her first book at sixteen. In its excellence, relevance, and abundance, much of this work rivals or surpasses poetry written for adults, yet it has ...

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Over the River and Through the Wood: An Anthology of Nineteenth-Century American Children's Poetry

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Overview

Over the River and Through the Wood is the first and only collection of its kind, offering readers an unequaled view of the quality and diversity of nineteenth-century American children's poetry. Most American poets wrote for children—from famous names such as Ralph Waldo Emerson to less familiar figures like Christina Moody, an African American author who published her first book at sixteen. In its excellence, relevance, and abundance, much of this work rivals or surpasses poetry written for adults, yet it has languished—inaccessible and unread—in old periodicals, gift books, and primers. This groundbreaking anthology remedies that loss, presenting material that is both critical to the tradition of American poetry and also a delight to read.

Complemented by period illustrations, this definitive collection includes work by poets from all geographical regions, as well as rarely seen poems by immigrant and ethnic writers and by children themselves. Karen L. Kilcup and Angela Sorby have combed the archives to present an extensive selection of rediscoveries along with traditional favorites. By turns playful, contemplative, humorous, and subversive, these poems appeal to modern sensibilities while giving scholars a revised picture of the nineteenth-century literary landscape.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
03/15/2014
A few poems in this collection are familiar (such as Longfellow's "Paul Revere's Ride" and Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven"), but a significant amount of material here comes from sources like primers and periodicals and will be new to most readers. Editors Kilcup (literature, Univ. of North Carolina, Greensboro; Teaching Nineteenth-Century American Poetry) and Sorby (literature, poetry, Marquette Univ.; Schoolroom Poets) seek to provide modern readership with a mediated tableau of an American child's literary (and life) experience in the 19th century. Poems are grouped by themes including education, politics (there is an entire section on slavery and freedom), family life, play, and nature, and each section's tone varies from lighthearted to somber. Selections were clearly chosen from a 21st-century perspective, and according to the editors note they "favored charm over convention, even at the expense of some representativeness." Diverse and democratic in authorship, the title includes authors ranging from eight-year-old children to Louisa May Alcott. VERDICT The collection achieves what its editors intended: it will indeed be a living canon resonating with readers of all ages. Aside from the book's scholarly value, parents and grandparents will find themselves dipping into it regularly.—Audrey Snowden, Orrington P.L., ME
Times Literary Supplement - Teresa Michals

Over the River and Through the Wood provides a glimpse of a time less anxious about the boundary between adulthood and childhood, and draws attention to some wonderful poems.

Review 19 - Julia Mickenberg

This book is a landmark text for scholars of the nineteenth century, for specialists in children's literature, and for scholars of poetry. But many people who are none of these—including people still in elementary school—will find much in the book to enjoy.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781421411446
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 12/31/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 592
  • Sales rank: 1,242,463
  • File size: 9 MB

Meet the Author

Karen L. Kilcup is a professor of American literature at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her books include Teaching Nineteenth-Century American Poetry and Fallen Forests: Emotion, Embodiment, and Ethics in American Women’s Environmental Writing, 1781–1924. Angela Sorby is an associate professor at Marquette University in Milwaukee. Her books include Schoolroom Poets: Childhood, Performance, and the Place of American Poetry, 1865–1917, and three poetry collections, most recently The Sleeve Waves.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 24, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    What a gem of a book! This is 592 pages of high quality children

    What a gem of a book! This is 592 pages of high quality children's poetry from 19th century America. Who knew there was so much out there?! The introduction is a brief but fascinating look into how we define "children's poetry," the advent of children's publishing, and the various ways in which children find poetry relevant to their lives.

    Over the River and Through the Wood is cleverly organized by topic: TWENTY of them, in fact. Talk about an educator's dream! Topics range from "Creepy Crawlies" and "Landscapes and Seasons" to "Learning Lessons" and "Politics and Social Reform," as well as anything and everything in between. There's even a section for nonsense poems. I'm already chock full of ideas for incorporating some of these into our homeschooling days.

    My 4 1/2 year old has already found a new favorite. She's had me read aloud Eliza Lee Cabot Follen's "The Three Little Kittens" more times than I can count!

    The poems are diverse in every possible way, faithfully representing our country as a "melting pot." You'll find familiar and not-so-familiar poems by beloved writers such as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Sarah Orne Jewett, and Emily Dickinson, as well as be introduced to a vast number of poems and writers you may have never heard of. Truly, this collection is a gold mine.

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

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