The Essays of Henry Timrod

The Essays of Henry Timrod

The Essays of Henry Timrod

The Essays of Henry Timrod

Excerpt

Timrod'S prose and verse are closely related. They reveal the same intense, disciplined mind, the narrow range of interests, and a constant preoccupation with aesthetic and ethical and strictly poetic problems. Much of his early criticism was cast in verse; with one exception, his essays discuss the ontology of poetry. Although he worked as tutor and newspaper editor during most of his adult life, these jobs were a means to living. His justification, his reason for being, was in his poetry. Even in the harshest days of war and reconstruction, of poverty and illness, he continued to write: his best poem is a product of these years.

The war gave depth to his thought, intensity to his feelings. His note of melancholy was wrenched into the deeper, more abiding note of tragedy. The poems become dramatic contrasts. He retained his earlier concepts of nature and mind and soul; against these he set the blood and hatred of war. He found his individual theme late in his short life and he wrote only a few poems on it; but his earlier verse and his critical ideas combined to give him the technical equipment needed for an authentic final achievement.

Timrod made three formal attempts to define the nature . . .

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