Pilgrims is an epic poem portraying the dramatic events transpiring between 1620 and 1627 with the settlement of Plymouth Colony. The poem consists of 76 chapters and an epilogue with over 10,000 lines composed in heroic quatrains.
From the Opening Notes by the author:
Pilgrims was developed and composed during the Covid-19 Pandemic. I drafted and polished the book while sheltering alone in my studio apartment in New York City. I wanted to develop my own poetic portrayal of the events described by the few personal accounts of the settlement of Plymouth Colony in New England.
For this, I studied the writing of William Bradford and Edward Winslow primarily. I also gained insight from the letters of John Pory, Emmanuel Altham and Isaack de Rasieres as they are collected in Three Visitors to Early Plymouth. In the poem there is one phrase quoted from Azel Ames and about two dozen scattered phrases quoted from Bradford and Winslow, such as Winslow's phonetic rendering of the Algonquin dialect spoken by the Wampanoags.
The dating and sequencing of the events in the poem were provided by William Bradford and Edward Winslow principally. Three Visitors to Early Plymouth also provided more information for some specific dates. The log of the Mayflower published by Azel Ames was also helpful for events through April 5, 1621, which was the Mayflower's departure date from Plymouth Bay in New England. Some dates were also provided by editors of the primary sources such as William Bradford's marriage to Alice Carpenter Southworth in Plymouth on August 14, 1623.
Without question, the famous events at Plymouth Colony did happen. For example, there was a first Thanksgiving - although the Pilgrims would not have referred to it as such - which occurred in 1621 and Ousamequin, the Massasoit of the Wampanoags, attended with about 90 Sachems and Pnieses. This harvest festival at Plymouth transpired over 3 days. Edward Winslow gave a personal account of the event in Mourt's Relation. However, the manner by which the event is portrayed and brought to life is the art of the storyteller. Pilgrims is a poem, not a scholarly or historical text. I took liberties in depicting some events where there are few descriptive details in the primary sources. However, mindful of my poetic license, I took care to preserve the accuracy and spirit of this historic story. The story of the Pilgrims at Plymouth is not simply American History, but an important development in the History of Civilization.