Uncollected Poems

Uncollected Poems

Uncollected Poems

Uncollected Poems


This volume is an annotated edition of the printed poems of James Russell Lowell not collected in the standard Elmwood edition. The poems Lowell himself rejected from his early volumes are not included; but the editor has attempted to collect all other poems, from periodicals and similar publications, for the present edition. Fred L. Pattee wrote in the Introduction to Conversations on Some of the Old Poets (1901): "The final edition of his works, arranged and edited by his own hand during his maturest years, contains a surprisingly small portion of his entire literary product. . . . We cannot understand a writer in any full sense of the word unless we have his complete work and can study it in chronological order. We must be able to see the forces that moulded him, . . . and what in the case of Lowell is more important, perhaps, we must estimate his influence at every step upon his contemporaries and his age." It is hoped that the present edition will contribute to such a study of Lowell.

It is a particular pleasure to acknowledge my indebtedness to my friend and preceptor Professor Sculley Bradley who first called to my attention the need for such a study and who has generously given counsel and criticism.

It is a privilege to acknowledge my obligations to Professors Arthur Hobson Quinn, Roy F. Nichols, Richard H. Shryock and William C. McDermott. Mr. Ferris Greenslet generously shared his special knowledge of the Lowell family. Professor Leon Howard, who is preparing a study of Lowell's earlier years, has given me valuable advice, and Professor Harry Hayden Clark generously permitted me to read, before publication, his Introduction to Representative Selections from James Russell Lowell.

I wish to thank the staff of the University of Pennsylvania library, especially the former members Mr. Eliot Morse and Mr. Charles Mish. The Harvard University library gave me access to the Lowell manuscripts, and I am indebted to Mr. Charles Jackson and Miss Carolyn E. Jakeman of the Houghton library and to Miss Bella da Costa Greene, then of the Pierpont Morgan library.

Finally I wish to express my thanks to the members of the Lowell family, particularly Dr. Francis Burnett and Mrs. Lois Cunningham.


Dickinson College

February, 1950 . . .

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